Knowledge of medical students on National Health Care System: A French multicentric survey
Feral-Pierssens A.-L., Jannot A.-S.
BACKGROUND: Education on national health care policy and costs is part of our medical curriculum explaining how our health care system works. Our aim was to measure French medical students’ knowledge about national health care funding, costs and access and explore association with their educational and personal background. METHODS: We developed a web-based survey exploring knowledge on national health care funding, access and costs through 19 items and measured success score as the number of correct answers. We also collected students’ characteristics and public health training. The survey was sent to undergraduate medical students and residents from five medical universities between July and November 2015. RESULTS: A total of 1195 students from 5 medical universities responded to the survey. Most students underestimated the total amount of annual medical expenses, hospitalization costs and the proportion of the general population not benefiting from a complementary insurance. The knowledge score was not associated with medical education level. Three students’ characteristics were significantly associated with a better knowledge score: male gender, older age, and underprivileged status. CONCLUSION: Medical students have important gaps in knowledge regarding national health care funding, coverage and costs. This knowledge was not associated with medical education level but with some of the students’ personal characteristics. All these results are of great concern and should lead us to discussion and reflection about medical and public health training.