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How do patients really feel about residents and students?

Article written by Dr. Ergun Kocak published on February 10, 2015 on


Currently, I work in a private practice based mostly out of community and specialty hospitals. I spend most of my time working with a small team consisting of my partner (Dr. Tiwari), our Physician Assistant (Maggie), our office manager (Lauren), and our clinical navigator (Jordan). Each week is remarkably similar to the last one, with each member of the team playing an important role to keep the practice running efficiently and successfully.


But my life wasn’t always quite this consistent. Before entering private practice, I spent several years working in an academic, university-based system where, in addition to surgery and research, I had the pleasure and honor of teaching students, residents, and fellows. While I generally appreciated having these eager learners at my side, I was not sure how patients felt about their presence and involvement.


In order to better understand exactly how patients feel about the presence of students, we carried out a survey-based study in the offices of academic and non-academic plastic surgeons. The results were quite surprising. Click here to read a summary on the popular medical blog site of KevinMD. For more detailed information, please click here to read the abstract for the paper which was published in the Journal of Surgical Education.

About the Author

Ergun Kocak

Dr. Ergun Kocak, MD, MS, is a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in plastic and reconstructive surgery of the breast using DIEP, SIEA GAP, TUG, PAP, and direct-to-implant, in Columbus and Cincinnati, OH.
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