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Respecting patient choices: using the ’Go Wish' cards as a teaching tool


Background Individuals have different values and priorities that can have an important impact on their medical management. Understanding this concept can help physicians provide medical care that is in line with the goals of their patients. Communicating this message effectively to students is challenging.

Objective To report our experience with using Go Wish cards in the medical education setting.

Design A thematic analysis of student reflection papers using grounded theory.

Setting/Subjects Second-year medical students participated in an activity using the Go Wish cards as part of a course module on palliative care. The activity aimed to encourage students to reflect on their own choices at the end of life and to highlight that different people have different priorities.

Results Forty-two students (42%) mentioned the Go Wish activity in their reflections on the module. They reported that the activity demonstrated the different priorities at the end of life, it illustrated the importance of providing personalised care, it promoted self-discovery, it transformed their view of death and dying, and it increased their appreciation of the importance of palliative care.

Conclusion Go Wish cards can be used to help illustrate the variability in priorities of patients. They can be used as an effective to teach medical students about the importance of considering patient preferences when illness progresses.

  • Palliative care
  • medical education
  • Go Wish cards
  • good death
  • personalization of care
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