Treating and teaching: Using publicly available data to explore the relationship between student and patient evaluations of teaching hospitals

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Introduction: Treating patients and teaching medical students are parallel activities that occur at teaching hospitals. However, the relationship between these activities is poorly understood. There have been multiple calls for assessing the quality of medical education by examining publicly available clinical data but there is minimal evidence linking these variables. Method: In this proof-of-principle study, the authors examined publicly available Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (H-CAHPS) data collected during Calendar Year 2013 to explore the relationship between patient evaluations of their hospital experience and medical student evaluations of the educational experience at that site. Results: Pearson product–moment correlation coefficients were calculated for multiple variables. Patient ratings of doctor–patient communication correlated with student ratings of organization (R=0.882, p=0.048), educational value (R=0.882, p=0.048), teaching (R=0.963, p=0.008), and evaluation and feedback (R=0.920, p=0.027). Conclusion: These findings provide preliminary evidence for a relationship between patient experiences and the quality of education at that site. Further studies linking clinical and education outcomes are needed to explore this relationship in more depth. The contributions of specific hospital locations, providers, or clerkships need to be evaluated. Studies examining these relationships have the potential to improve both patient care and medical education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-409
Number of pages5
JournalAdvances in Medical Education and Practice
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank the Medical Education Outcomes Center (MEOC) at the University of Minnesota for their support and inspiration.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Gauer et al.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Clinical teaching
  • Doctor-patient communication
  • Integrating educational practice data
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Quality
  • Student satisfaction


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