Personal Experiences of Medical Students with Self-Pay Services
Eine Querschnittstudie an vier Universitätengerman translation / full article
A Cross-Sectional Study at Four Universities
Background: Preventive measures, even as self-pay services (IGeL), are an increasing market in Germany. This cross-sectional study analyzes the personal experiences of medical students with such offers.
Methods: In Winter 2013/14 medical students from four German universities were surveyed: their individual experiences with self-pay preventive services, their understanding of the scientific evidence and their opinions about the effects on the patient-physician-relationship were requested.
Results: A total of 350 of 442 students participated (79 %): 60 % of the female and 34 % of the male students had received at least one offer. In general, students overestimated the scientific evidence of most offers (thrombosis check, pre-participation check, glaucoma screening, homocysteine testing, colon cancer screening with M2PK stool probe), while the evidence of smoking cessation strategies was underestimated. The majority of students considers offers lacking scientific foundation as not ethical (52 %) and rejects the idea that physicians should fulfil such patient wishes (53 %).
Conclusions: The majority of German medical students have personal experiences with self-pay prevention. Medical school curricula need to integrate these issues because students tend to overestimate the scientific evidence. It must be acknowledged that students have a good understanding of ethical aspects of their future professional role.