A Clinical and Ethical Investigation of Pre-medical and Medical Students’ Attitudes, Knowledge, and Understanding of HIV

Article English OPEN
Aultman, Julie M. ; Borges, Nicole J. (2009)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: Medical Education Online (issn: 1087-2981, eissn: 1087-2981)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/meo.v11i.4596
  • Subject:
    mesheuropmc: education

Ninety-five students participated in a qualitative study examining pre-medical and firstyear medical students’ knowledge, understanding, and attitudes surrounding HIV. Participants were given a questionnaire to assess general knowledge and to assess students’ ability to identify and discern psychosocial and ethical dilemmas using 2 case studies about fictionalized HIV patients and the issues they face in disclosing their diagnosis of HIV and adhering to prescribed treatment regimens. A content analysis was used to examine the students’ responses for themes. Results suggested that most students have a general understanding of HIV. Many students, however, are unable to identify and differentiate psychosocial factors from ethical factors when presented with HIV case studies. Answers reflecting students’ attitudes of HIV varied and contained identifiable biases and prejudices, such as placing blame on individuals who acquire the disease through “risky” behaviors. Pedagogical strategies for improving HIV education and developing students’ professional and moral growth as future healthcare providers are identified. Keywords: HIV, Medical education, Ethics, Psychosocial.
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    Palma T, Iannelli R. Therapeutic reactivity to confidentiality with HIV positive clients, bias or epidemiology. Ethics and Behavior. 1. What is HIV? 2. How is HIV different from AIDS? Please Explain 3. How does HIV affect the human body? 4. What are some of the symptoms HIV patients may experience? 5. How is HIV diagnosed? 6. Is HIV treatable? What treatments are available for patients with HIV? 7. In general, how can you protect yourself from contracting HIV? 8. Who do you believe is most susceptible to HIV? Explain your answer. 9. Do you know anyone who has HIV? 10. 10. As a student-physician, do you believe you are at risk for contracting HIV from a patient? Explain your answer. 11. As a student-physician how comfortable are you (or will be) in caring for patients with HIV? AIDS? 12. As a student-physician how comfortable are you (or will be) in caring for patients with AIDS? 13. Do you believe medical students have a duty to treat HIV patients? Explain your answer. 14. Do you believe medical students should be tested for HIV? Why or why not?

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