Korean J Med Educ.  2007 Sep;19(3):215-223.

Medical Students' Attitudes Toward the Patient-Doctor Relationship

  • 1Department of Medical Education, School of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea. fool@khu.ac.kr


PURPOSE: This study investigated the attitudes of medical students toward physicians and the roles which the doctors and patients should play in the health care process.
Attitudes toward the patient-doctor relationship of 436 medical students of the K university in Seoul were measured using the Patient-Practitioner Orientation Scale(PPOS), a validated instruments designed to measure individual preferences toward various aspects of the patient-doctor relationship. The PPOS was composed of Sharing(sharing information, take part in decision making) and Caring(respect one's feelings, interpersonal relationship) subscale. Total PPOS scores can range from patient-centered(egalitarian, whole person oriented) to disease- or doctor-centered(paternalistic, less attuned to psychosocial issues). Socio-demographic data including gender, age, school year, marital status, undergraduate major, student's and her/his family medical background and specialty choice were collected and it was investigated the possible impact of socio-demographic factors on students' attitudes.
The PPOS score was 3.82. The Sharing and Caring scores were 3.74 and 3.90, respectively. Female gender and students of graduate entry program were significantly associated with patient-centered attitudes. Age, school year, marital status, academic background, student's and her/his family medical background, and specialty choice did not show significant associations with PPOS scores.
Female and graduate students showed more patient-centered attitudes than male and undergraduate students, respectively. Given the emphasis placed on patient-centered care in the current medical environment, our results suggest further research to explore the dynamics in medical education that may foster or inhibit student attitudes toward patient-centered care.


Patient-doctor relationship; Patient-centeredness; Attitude; Medical Students

MeSH Terms

Delivery of Health Care
Education, Medical
Marital Status
Patient-Centered Care
Students, Medical
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