Junior doctor experiences and challenges in obtaining surgical informed consent: A qualitative systematic review & meta-ethnography

Junior doctor experiences and challenges in obtaining surgical informed consent: A qualitative systematic review & meta-ethnography
Josephine de Costa, Mandy Shircore, Alande Costa
Journal of Surgical Research, November 2021; 267 pp 143-150
Abstract
Introduction
Surgical informed consent (SIC) to procedures is necessary to ensure patient autonomy is adequately respected. It is also necessary to protect doctors, and their institutions, from claims of negligence. While SIC is often acquired by senior consultants, it also commonly falls to the junior doctors on a team to ensure SIC is adequately acquired and documented. A growing body of literature suggests that junior doctors are not sufficiently educated about the legal and practical issues concerned with obtaining medical consent. This may open up this cohort, and their hospitals, to medico-legal liability.
Aims
to provide a systematic review of the qualitative literature on junior doctors’ experiences and challenges in consenting surgical patients and to synthesize evidence on this issue in order to guide policy-makers in the medicolegal and medical education spheres.
Methods
a systematic review of qualitative literature was performed. Analysis of the literature was guided by Noblit and Hare’s seven-step approach to meta-ethnography, with the final synthesis presented as a thematic analysis of the literature.
Conclusion
This research concludes that a significant proportion of SIC is likely to be acquired by junior doctors, many of whom are Post-Graduate Year (PGY) 1-2 and who lack adequate training and education. This cohort face challenges in assessing capacity, in ensuring adequate disclosure related to surgical procedures, and in adequately documenting consent. This may impact the validity of any SIC they acquire. Medical educators and policy-makers should be aware of these issues when creating policies impacting SIC, and when designing surgical education programs for medical students and junior doctors alike.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s