Background. We initiated this study with the aim to assess the leaning of medical students towards either a doctor-centered or a patient-centered care and explore the effects of personal attributes on it like gender, academic year etc. of the students.
Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted between July-Sep 2013. The study population consisted of 1274 medical students in years 1-5 from two medical colleges. English version of PPOS was used to assess attitudes of medical students towards doctor-patient relationship. The relationship between PPOS scores and individual characteristics like gender, academic year etc. were examined by using Independent t-test and one way ANOVA.
Results. A total of 792 students formed the final sample. Characteristics associated with most patient-centered attitudes were being in 4th academic year, married, being a foreigner and belonging to a Private college (p<0.05). Characteristics associated with most doctor-centered attitudes were being in 2nd academic year, divorced, having a local origin and belonging to a Govt. college (p<0.05). Gender and having doctor parents had no bearing, statistically, on the attitudes.
Conclusion. Despite ongoing debate and emphasis on a patient-centered curriculum, our study suggests that current curriculum and its teachings are not producing the results they are designed to achieve. Students should be adequately exposed to the patients from the beginning of their medical education in clinical settings which are more sympathetic to a patient-centered care.