Who is my patient? Societal involvement of medical students
Ida J. Korfage is Assistant Professor of Quality of Life at Erasmus MC – University Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She is an economist and epidemiologist by training. Her main research topic is the assessment of health-related quality of life in oncology, e.g. in the context of advance care planning. She undertakes and supervises quantitative, qualitative and methodological studies, with a focus on screening settings and decision making processes. Her work was supported by various research grants including a fellowship from the Dutch Cancer Society and research visits at the University of Bristol, the University of Michigan and the University of British Columbia. She collaborates with many colleague researchers and others, and publishes peer-reviewed scientific articles in both methodological and medical journals.
Medical students and their future patients differ in age, health situation, and often in levels of education and in cultural background. To enable our new doctors to partner with their future patients they need to get to know them in settings outside the hospital. New doctors will practise in explaining what medicines do, what medicine leaflets ('bijsluiters') mean, how diets work, what lifestyle changes mean when going shopping for a healthy diet. In that process, students will become in touch with a diversity of perspectives and learn about questions, doubts, and preferences that patients may have.