Evaluation of the Medical-Patient Relationship in Internal Students of a Medicine Course

ABSTRACT Objective: To evaluate the attitudes of the medical intern students regarding the doctor-patient relationship, in terms of the aspects of caring and sharing. Methods: This is a cross-sectional descriptive study with a quantitative approach. Two questionnaires were used in the development of the study, one with occupational sociodemographic data and the other the Patient-Practitioner Orientation Scale (PPOS), which aims to evaluate the doctor-patient relationship from the student's perspective. A total of 136 medical intern students from a university in Goiânia/GO were interviewed. Results: the mean age of the sample population was 24.7 (± 2.8), 90 were female (66.7%) and 128 (94.1%) were single. Among all the students the scores were: overall (4.48 ± 1.56), sharing (3.92 ± 1.59) and caring (5.04 ± 1.31). The women presented higher scores in the “sharing” aspect (3.97 ± 11.61) than the men (3.82 ± 1.54), with p = 0.034, and in the global mean, female (4.51 ± 1, 57) and male (4.40 ± 1.55), with p = 0.047. For the “sharing” factor, those who said they had completed extracurricular internship (3.98 ± 1.62) reported a better score than those who had not (3.81 ± 1.53), with p = 0.033. The students that specified social contribution as a factor in their decision to follow the medical course (4.00 ± 1.58) presented a better score in the “sharing” factor. Conclusion: Most of the intern students focused their attention on the doctor figure rather than the patient, especially with the lower scores at the end of the training period. By contrast, the academics believed that the patient's expectations, feelings, and life circumstances may interfere with their treatment. Women, students who performed extracurricular activities during the course and students who pointed out social contribution as a factor in their decision to follow a medical career, presented better results from the point of view of dialogue and allowing the patient to be part of the treatment.