Adopting principles of person-centred communication has been highlighted as one strategy to improve care of people living with dementia (PLWD) in health and social care settings. However, person-centred communication is interpreted and applied variably in different settings, and healthcare professionals’ views about communicating with PLWD are under-explored. This study aimed to investigate medical students’ views about the principles and applicability of a model of person centred communication – the Dementia Model of Effective Communication (DeMEC) – to clinical practice. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected using questionnaires (n = 531), focus groups (n = 21) and interviews (n = 10). Students generally endorsed the person-centred approach to communication, but two aspects were highlighted as complex and divisive – the acceptability or otherwise of lying, and of communicating with family in advance of the PLWD. We discuss the nature of these communicative dilemmas, implications for the education and training of medical students, and future directions for research.