Shadowing vs Patient Privacy

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Florida_style, Jun 18, 2001.

  1. Florida_style

    Florida_style Member

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    Hello all,

    I'm about to enter pre-med classes, and Ive been poking around the forum a bit. Seems to me that a pre-med student shadowing a doctor means a violation of patient privacy at some level. Even if the patient didn't feel it, I still would as a pre-med student.

    Thoughts, experiences, comments?

    John
     
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  3. prolixless

    prolixless Senior Member

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    I had the same thoughts and concerns when shadowing my doc. However he was very well respected and trusted by his patients, and so they never questioned us in the room with them. Of course during gyn and prostate exams he would tell us to wait outside. Also, i think he mentioned he had some legal clause that stated his clinic could potentially be used to teach other students.
     
  4. electra

    electra SDN Moderator

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    I shadowd an orthopedic, and he was also very good about introducing me as a "colleague" and not "curious pre-med student." This was a little easier because I wore scrubs and a badge like all the staff. He gave the patient an opportunity to tell me what they were being seen for in the office, or why they needed to have surgery. I was quite impressed with how much many of his patients knew about their conditions and treatment. Under most circumstances, I did not feel that patient confidentiality was compromised.
     
  5. Florida_style

    Florida_style Member

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    Thanks proxiless and electra for the feedback. I am encouraged by both of you, and I am left with questions for electra. Electra, you state "in most cases" patient confidentiality was not compromised. I am intrested in hearing about the cases where you felt that patient confidentiality "was" compromised. Sorry, I know that my question might be a little bit difficult to answer, but I hope you will try anyway, and I don't expect any answer at all from you, I understand that you also have your own privacy about your own experiences.

    John
     
  6. Mackel

    Mackel Junior Member

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    Everytime I have shadowed a doc, I had sign contract of sorts through the hospital saying that I would not discuss anything that I saw and such. Most of the shadowing I've done was with surgeons, so I'm not sure about how it would work with general practice docs and such.
     
  7. Billie

    Billie An Oldie but a Goodie...

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    Before I started med school, I shadowed in an ER for a long time. This was a teaching hospital, and when patient's signed their "consent to treat" form, it stated in the form that students would possibly participate in care. Now while shadowing, I was not a student, but I never had any problems from the pt's or staff with my presence. And given what goes on in an ER, I didn't feel I was violating anyone's privacy. But like another post here, I was not present for pelvic exams or such.

    Billie
     
  8. electra

    electra SDN Moderator

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    no problem, John....I went on rounds on two occasions with multiple MDs and some did not follow the same plan that I mentioned with Dr. B. In one case, I saw the same woman, three times in three separate months. she was diabetic with neuropathy, gangrene in both feet...and her daughter was the "caretaker." I really felt out of place in the discussions and thought the patient needed an attorney, big time.

    There was an interesting article in the NYT about two months ago...see if I can find it, concerning patients and med students. The gist of the article was that patients, especially those in large teaching hospitals, assist in the learning of med students. Therefore, some of the information considered "confidential" is necessary to impart to the student...then it is up to the student to remember their ethics and how to discuss personal information. (in the elevator, of course.) ;)
     
  9. kidterrific

    kidterrific Senior Member

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    When I shadowed a doctor, I was introduced as a student entering medicine, and each patient was asked if my presence was permissible. Nobody refused my presence at any time, and most enjoyed my visit there, because the doctor was explaing things more as he was doing them (a relief to any patient, I believe).

    I've even been a patient while a doctor had someone shadowing them. I didn't see a problem with it, and I'm sure if I felt uncomfortable discussing my problems, the doctor would have kicked out the shadow.
     
  10. Florida_style

    Florida_style Member

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    Thanks all! I remember a student nurse trying to get blood out of me during a hospital admission. He tried four times before the RN took over. He was so sorry and apologetic and I could tell that he was feeling defeated. Each time he tried and failed at it, I just said, "that's OK, you gotta learn somehow!" I think the nurse stopped him so that she wouldn't end up having to take blood out of my feet!!!! Unrelated but I just remembered that.
     
  11. EUROdocMOM

    EUROdocMOM Senior Member

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    When I was delivering my first child the student nurses were poking all over the place, but I knew they needed to learn!
    I think many people realize that this is how the next generation learns medicine.
    I love shaddowing, and my doc actually teaches me as if I were already a med student!
    The patients are always told I'm a student and everything is confidential.
     
  12. Florida_style

    Florida_style Member

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    EurodocMOM, you have the most descriptive user name that I have ever seen anywhere on the internet. In that arrangement of just 10 letters, I can imagine what your life must be like without even asking you! just a thought!
     

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