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December 10, 2014

Meaningful Roles for Medical Students in the Provision of Longitudinal Patient Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA. 2014;312(22):2335-2336. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.16541

Medical students are not clinicians providing patient care. This distinction is usually made explicit in the education agreements that medical schools have with their clinical affiliates—and with good reason, because students have no such formal qualification. Students are inexperienced learners in an environment where even minor errors can have harmful results. Still, within the traditional inpatient clerkship, it has long been true that the medical student may be the team member most familiar with details about a patient’s illness, fears, or family.