Background: Children and young people (CYP) are used as cases and standardised patients in clinical exams and teaching across the world. Consultation with CYP suggests education and training as an area that they feel they should actively participate in.
Aims: To examine the perceptions, motives and concerns of CYP participating in exam-focused clinical teaching, and to compare these views with those of their parents, trainees and tutors.
Methods: Consultation and pilot-study were used to design an anonymised questionnaire with 5-point Likert scales and free-text answers. This was sent to 112 CYP and parents attending a clinical teaching course. Tutors and trainees attending the courses also completed the same questionnaire. Results were analysed using Mann-Whitney U.
Results: 71% of the questionnaires sent to CYP and parents were completed. For CYP the major reasons for taking part were the enjoyment of helping people to learn (92% agreement) and wanting to ‘give something back’ (85% agreement). Parents put significantly more emphasis on giving something back than anything else. Tutors and trainees felt that the chance for CYP to earn pocket money was their most important motivation. The major problem highlighted was that it is tiring being repeatedly examined. All CYP and parents said that they would participate in future clinical teaching.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that in the context of well-planned, structured clinical teaching, most CYP are primarily motivated to participate in order to help educate doctors.