Students as patients and teachers: Evaluation of an experiential emergency contraception project

Alice Fornari, Jason Fletcher, Cara Herbitter, Leslie Boden, Marji Gold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Students on a required family medicine clerkship participated in an experiential project designed to teach them about emergency contraception (EC). This study describes students' changes in knowledge and attitudes about barriers to care after assuming the patient role and presenting their findings to peers and after hearing a presentation about EC from their peers. Methods: This mixed-methods study used quantitative measures of knowledge and attitudes about EC before and after the students' family medicine clerkship. Qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted with all students who self-selected the EC Project and assumed the role of a patient and then taught their peers. Results: All student groups showed improvement in knowledge and attitude scores, though gains were not statistically significant. Students who participated in the EC Project reported multiple benefits related to (1) assuming the role of the patient, (2) engaging in an experiential learning process, (3) teaching their peers, and (4) considering their future role as clinicians. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that playing the role of a patient and teaching their peers are valuable learning experiences, and students can learn well during peer-taught sessions. Students increased their medical knowledge and sensitivity to the barriers that patients face and began to consider their role in improving systems of health care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-178
Number of pages7
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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