Shared Decision Making in Senior Medical Students
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PURPOSE: To explore perceptions and experiences of Peruvian medical students about observed, preferred, and feasible decision-making approaches. METHODS: We surveyed senior medical students from 19 teaching hospitals in 4 major cities in Peru. The self-administered questionnaire collected demographic information, current approach, exposure to role models for and training in shared decision making, and perceptions of the pertinence and feasibility of the different decision-making approaches in general as well as in challenging scenarios. RESULTS: A total of 327 senior medical students (51% female) were included. The mean age was 25 years. Among all respondents, 2% reported receiving both theoretical and practical training in shared decision making. While 46% of students identified their current decision-making approach as clinician-as-perfect-agent, 50% of students identified their teachers with the paternalistic approach. Remarkably, 53% of students thought shared decision making should be the preferred approach and 50% considered it feasible in Peru. Among the 10 challenging scenarios, shared decision making reached a plurality (40%) in only one scenario (terminally ill patients). CONCLUSION: Despite limited exposure and training, Peruvian medical students aspire to practice shared decision making but their current attitude reflects the less participatory approaches they see role modeled by their teachers.
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