ABSTRACT: Committing to patient-centred medical education
Regular encounters of patients and medical students in a managed and structured consultation format, to focus on partnership in health care and chronic illness management, can address the student learning and professional development requirements facing contemporary medical education.
To engage and maintain such a strategy demands commitment and a belief in the importance of patient-centred medicine. The mechanism by which the Launceston Clinical School, University of Tasmania, has embraced this challenge over 8 years is the Patient Partner Program (P3).
Acknowledged as a program that enhances student learning, P3 features learning objectives that integrate the capabilities of managing the consultative craft and foster the growth of practitioners skilled in patient engagement.
The possibility for the development of insights into patient experiences, doctor-patient relationships and broader health care perspectives arise from such interactions. Additionally, P3 is a beacon of university-community engagement for medical schools, and therefore provides a platform for future research into students’ learning with community patients, and the impact on patients engaged in such educational program. This article outlines the approach, impact and challenges of our medical school’s commitment to patient-centred education. Regular encounters of patients and medical students can address the student learning and professional development requirements.