Teaching Dying Patient Care in Three Universities in Argentina, Spain, and Italy
Eduardo Mario Mutto (1), Carlos Cavazzoli (2), Josepmaria Argemi Ballbe (2), Vittoradolfo Tambone (3), Carlos Centeno (4), and Marcelo Jose Villar (5)
(1) Facultad de Ciencias Biomédicas, Department of Anatomy, (5) Department of Neuroscience, Universidad Austral, Pilar, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
(2) Universita Campus Biomedico di Roma, Rome, Italy.
(3) Dipartimento di Antropologia, Universita´ Campus Biomedico di Roma, Roma, Italy.
(4) Palliative Medicine Unit. Clinica Universitaria de Navarra. Facultad de Medicina, Univesidad de Navarra, Navarra, Spain.
We performed a multicenter comparative survey on undergraduate medical education regarding the care of dying patients at medical schools in three countries.
We enrolled 380 first- and sixth-year medical students from Universidad Austral (Argentina), Universidad de Navarra (Spain), and Università Campus Biomedico di Roma (Italy). Answers to the questions were similar among the three universities. Students acknowledged interacting directly with dying patients in all cases. Attitudes toward dying patients were highly positive.
Students spontaneously requested more training in end-of-life care. Some attitudes and wishes varied significantly from course to course. Students perceived that this issue received more attention in humanistic rather than in clinical subjects. Ninety-eight percent of students considered that death and helping patients to have a good death should be included in their training.
Students' attitudes revealed high interest and poor training in end-of-life issues. Medical curricula should be improved to adequately address these issues.
CITATION J Palliat Med. 2009 Jul;12(7):603-7