MD - Principles of Clinical Practice 1 (Information for Students)
The PCP1 placement is usually your first clinical visit and has an emphasis on communication skills. You will be allocated to a general practice and spend a 3 hour session with a supervising GP.
During this placement you:
- will attend in pairs (where possible) enabling them to discuss specific aspects of their visit;
- will observe a doctor’s consultation for a three hour period where you will concentrate on specific aspects of the communication between the doctor and the patient;
- will interview a patient about the symptom of pain (if the opportunity arises)
- will speak to the doctor about their experience at the conclusion of the placement (if time permits)
- are not expected to examine any patients or perform any procedures.
You will be expected to discuss your observations and experience with your PCP1 tutorial group.
Students will be allocated to a general practice by the Department of General Practice. Allocation information with contact details for GPs will be posted on MD Connect during the first few weeks of semester 1, prior to the placements commencing. Placements usually run from mid-March to mid-May each year.
Guidelines for Ethical Conduct on Clinical Attachments
The following guidelines are emphasised for students attending General Practice placements:
- The doctors (or other practice staff) at the clinical placement to which you are attached will obtain consent from each patient you have contact with (before you see them)
- Patients will be made aware that their participation is voluntary – they are free to agree or refuse and they will be reassured that their medical care will in no way be affected by their decision
- It is important that you introduce yourself to the patient you are about to see, explaining that you are a medical student and why you are there
- Patients are told that students are expected to uphold the same standards of confidentiality as doctors and have agreed to you being present on this basis. This establishes an explicit agreement about confidentiality.
- Take care not to identify or reveal the name of any patient to anyone.
- Remember that details other than names can be identifying in some circumstances, so take care with these details.
- Discussing with your tutors and fellow students the patients whom you have seen on clinical placements is an important part of medical education but again take care not to use names.
- It is normal and acceptable to ‘debrief’ about your experiences with family and trusted friends but do so in a way that is respectful to patients and, again, avoids identifying them.
- It is quite appropriate to thank patients for agreeing to have you present – they are helping you with your education
- Please dress appropriately for your clinical visits.
- Remember to take your photo ID with you and wear it throughout your visit.
- Please remember to be punctual for all placements: sometimes patients have been asked to come in especially for your benefit, so they should not be kept waiting.
- Mobile phones MUST be turned off during clinical placements.
Patient consent must be obtained for all medical placements; either written or verbal (as a minimum).
Practices may choose to use the sample patient information and consent form provided to them by the Department of General Practice.
Attendance at this placement is compulsory. You must telephone the practice as soon as possible on the day of the placement if you are unwell and unable to attend, or are running late due to circumstances beyond your control.Your attendance form can be found in your PCP1 student handbook. Both you and the supervising GP or Practice Manager need to sign this form. You must return it to the PCP1 Administrator prior to the end of semester.