Students’ letters to patients as a part of education in family medicine

Nataša Mrduljaš-Đujić, Ivančica Pavličević, Ana Marušić, Matko Marušić


Family medicine fosters holistic approach to patient-centered practice.Current medical curriculum in Croatia does not have well-structuredcourses or tools to prepare medicals students for successful communicationwith the patient and for building lasting and beneficial doctor-patient relationship. We explored the value of students’ practicein writing letters to patients about their illness as a way of buildingpersonal and compassionate relationship with patients. Sixth year studentsat the School of Medicine in Split wrote letters to the patientsfrom consultations under the supervision of the supervisor in a familymedicine practice. Structured teaching of communication with thepatient brings family medicine back to what has actually always beenits main part – communication and doctor-patient relationship. Ourfuture aim is to develop students’ letters to patients as a new tool inthe family medicine course examination. Moreover, we will investigatehow they can be used in everyday practice of family medicine.


Letter to the patient; Family practice; Communication; Doctor patient relationship

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