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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574

Abstract

MAPUKATA, N O. Patient abandonment in primary healthcare settings: What duty is owed to medical students?. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2019, vol.109, n.10, pp.741-742. ISSN 2078-5135.  http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/samj.2019.v109i10.14196.

Much of the literature on patient abandonment focuses on legal implications as an outcome of a unilateral premature termination of a health service without the consent of the patient. The plight of medical students is seldom considered in such instances. Two cases are presented that highlight the issue of patient abandonment during clinical rotations in primary healthcare settings and the impact on the emotional wellbeing of students. Systemic challenges are flagged for consideration, taking into account the projected annual increase in the number of medical students who must be integrated and trained to respond to the needs of South African patients.

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