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Attitudes of a private hospital community to medical student teaching

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To the Editor: A shortage of training opportunities for medical students in public hospitals has led to greater need for collaboration with the private sector.13 In 2011, Sydney Medical School established the first private hospital clinical school in New South Wales at the Sydney Adventist Hospital (SAH). Essential to its success is the support of the hospital’s patient and medical community.

We conducted two cross-sectional surveys, adapted from previous research, to assess attitudes toward participation in medical student teaching among SAH patients and staff.4 Between August and October 2011, hospital volunteers recruited patients and staff from all departments on various days, but did not record refusals. We included visitors if they were previous or potential future patients. Doctors had limited time for completing the survey while seeing patients, so we sent them the survey by email. The SAH Human Ethics Research Committee approved the study.

A total of 283 surveys were completed by inpatients (52%), outpatients (30%) and visitors (18%). Sixty-seven per cent of survey participants were women. Patients were categorised as surgical…