Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2018 - 12

Dissertation
Synopsis

increased likelihood of including a caregiver in the visit could be
seen as an asset rather than a shortcoming. It is important to note,
however, that the needs and preferences of the caregiver and the
patient with ID in the visit may not directly align, requiring the
treating physician to attend to potentially different needs within the
visit. Caregiver satisfaction may be dependent upon a number of
factors, some of which may overlap with those that are valued by the
patient and some of which may be unique based on the caregiver's
relationship to the patient. Further examination and comparison of
patient satisfaction versus caregiver satisfaction may help physicians
tailor their treatment approaches to meet the needs of both patients
with ID as well as their caregivers.

Conclusion
The promising outlook lies within the findings of this study
that the perceived quality of experiences with members of the ID
population held more value than the quantity of experiences in
developing more positive attitudes. For medical students, attitudes
during training may be enhanced through brief didactics or
experiences with standardized patients that offer opportunities to
experience a positive interaction with an individual with ID. For
physicians currently in practice, brief but positive interactions with
the ID population can be found through engaging with the local
community or seeking out continuing medical education credits
that focus on treating patients with ID. Physicians may also benefit
from taking time to reflect on their own past experiences with the
ID population, in both their personal and professional lives, as
well as seeking support from colleagues when treating members
of the ID population. Given that the general medical school
curriculum does not guarantee students will obtain such experiences
during their training, it is important to explore the development
of these attitudes and the potential impact physicians' attitudes
may have on the quality of care provided to patients with ID. By
examining the knowledge, attitudes, and clinical decision-making
of medical students, interns, residents, and attending physicians
in a cross-sectional design, this study intended to shed light on
the development of these attitudes and their potential effects on
patient care. Medical professionals, particularly those working in
primary care settings, can expect to treat patients with ID over the
course of their careers. By examining the attitudes of physicians,
their understanding of the ID population's needs, and their clinical
decision-making strategies, efforts can be made to ensure that
physicians are, and continue to be, prepared to provide quality
healthcare to individuals with ID across the lifespan.
Authors' Note: Alexandra Santoro, M.S., is earning her
Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree in Clinical Psychology
from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in
July of 2018. The full-text of this dissertation research will
be available online via PCOM Digital Commons.

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Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2018

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