Patient Feedback Requirements for Medical Students: Do Perceived Risks Outweigh the Benefits?
Patient feedback has increasingly become part of medical students’ training and formative assessment. We conducted a qualitative study using focus groups to explore students’ experiences soliciting patient feedback, including the benefits, challenges, and potential strategies to obtain it. Fifteen medical students participated. Thematic analysis revealed students’ (1) discomfort soliciting feedback and concern of being viewed as self-serving; (2) concerns about eroding patient trust; (3) indifference to nonspecific, positive feedback; and (4) belief that informally solicited feedback is most helpful for their learning. Strategies for soliciting more useful patient feedback included (1) team-based solicitation, (2) empowering patients as teachers, and (3) development of feedback instruments that allow patients to comment on specific student-identified learning goals. Solicitation of patient feedback is challenging for medical students and provokes discomfort. Strategies to integrate patient feedback into medical student training and assessment must attend to students’ needs so the value of patient feedback can be realized.