The hidden curriculum of the medical care for elderly patients in medical education: a qualitative study.

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Despite more attention being given to geriatrics in medical curricula, few new physicians are seeking training in this field. So far, there has been no exploration of factors in the hidden curriculum that could potentially influence the persisting lack of interest in this field of medicine. To study this hidden curriculum in medical education in relation to medical care of elderly patients, the authors used a qualitative research design including participant observations on two internal medicine wards in a teaching hospital and semistructured interviews. The results showed that elderly patients with multiple problems are seen as frustrating and not interesting. Medical students were not stimulated to go into the totality of medical problems of elderly patients. They picked up a lot of disparaging remarks about these patients. The mainly negative attitudes demonstrated by role models, in particular the residents, may potentially influence the development of future doctors and their choice of career.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-44
JournalGerontology & Geriatrics Education
Issue number1
Early online date11 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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