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Meltem Akkas, Esin Gulkaya Anık, Mehmet Cihat Demir, Bugra İlhan, Canan Akman, Mehmet Mahir Ozmen, Nalan Metin Aksu
(Department of Emergency, Hacettepe University School of Medicine, Sıhhıye, Ankara, Turkey)
Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:6918-6924
Doctors have an important role in increasing the number of organ donors. This study aimed to investigate the changing attitudes of medical students regarding organ donation, from first-year medical students (FYMS) to sixth-year medical students (SYMS) at a university medical school in Turkey.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: One hundred first-year medical students and 100 sixth-year medical students participated in the study. A four-part questionnaire was designed for the study, with a response rate of 66.8%.
RESULTS: Completed study questionnaires showed that organ donation was considered by 46% of first-year medical students and 60% of sixth-year medical students, but an organ donor card was signed by only 8% and 10%, respectively. Information about organ donation had been sought, mainly from social media, by 72% of first-year medical students, and 55% of sixth-year medical students. Regarding their views on organ donation of their relatives, 78% of first-year medical students and 86% of sixth-year medical students were influenced by the opinions of their families and community. When asked about brain death, 50% of first-year medical students and 12% of sixth-year medical students believed it to be a potentially reversible condition, or were uncertain of the definition.
CONCLUSIONS: During six years of training in a university medical school in Turkey, there was only a slight increase in the number of students who were willing to become organ donors and there was a lack of formal education regarding organ donation. Therefore, urgent improvements are required in the education of doctors and society regarding organ donation.