A Comparative Study on Patient Rights: Medical vs. Dental Students
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Health care services require team work and all members of a health care team should have sufficient knowledge about patient rights to maintain their relationships with patients. Therefore, doctors of all disciplines can be expected to be equally aware of patient rights. In an attempt to determine the situation in practice, we determine what medical and dental students know about patient rights. A questionnaire was prepared composed of 17 questions about patient rights. This questionnaire was distributed to the senior students of medical and dental schools at two state universities. The study included 180 volunteer students. Out of participants, 131 students had education about patient rights and 41 of them found their knowledge about patient rights sufficient. There was a significant difference between medical and dental students in their opinions about patient rights to "request consultation from another physician", "ask examination/treatment costs", "decline treatment", "ask information about treatment options" and "ask information about each step of a treatment". There was also a significant difference in their opinions about "obtaining informed consent for drug treatment" and "the type of informed consent". Several declarations and regulations on patient rights have been made both nationally and internationally in the last 20-30 years. However, these regulations should be put into practice and to what extent these regulations and declarations have affected candidate doctors should be evaluated and a standardized curriculum about patient rights should be developed to be used in each medical and dental school in the country.