Audit in general practice: students and practitioners learning together.
OBJECTIVES: To describe and evaluate the use of medical audit in general practice as an educational activity shared by undergraduate medical students and general practitioners. DESIGN: A descriptive study, evaluated by a questionnaire survey of all participating practices and by results of completed student projects on general practice audit topics during three weeks in the first year of completed projects (1990-1). SETTING: One university department of general practice, collaborating with 18 general practices in contract with Liverpool Family Health Services Authority. PARTICIPANTS: 150 medical students, working in groups of two to six, and the general practitioners with whom they worked in 18 practices. MAIN MEASURES: The nature of topics proposed by practices and chosen by the students; methods of audit used by students; reported effects of the audits on the practices; general practitioners' opinions of the projects' usefulness to the practice. RESULTS: The range of topics was wide, and both quantitative and qualitative methods were used. Fifteen of the 18 questionnaires sent out were completed. Six practices reported that the final project had changed substantially after joint planning with the students. Two thirds (10) attached high value to the audits and were making changes in the delivery of care as a result. CONCLUSIONS: Medical audit "project work" by medical undergraduates is an effective tool for motivating students to learn and can lead to change in the clinical setting in which it occurs. IMPLICATIONS: By meeting the learning needs of both undergraduates and established practitioners audit project work has wider application within medical education. (+info)
Comparing ambulatory preceptors' and students' perceptions of educational planning.
To compare ambulatory preceptors' and students' perceptions of the use of educational planning (setting goals, assessing needs, formulating objectives, choosing methods, and providing feedback and evaluation) in the office setting, we mailed a survey, which was returned by 127 longitudinal ambulatory preceptors and 168 first-year and second-year medical students. Faculty perceptions did not match student perceptions of what occurred in the longitudinal preceptor program teaching sessions in educational planning areas. Students perceived these activities were occurring with much less frequency than faculty perceived. Medical education needs to move beyond the usual faculty development workshop paradigm to a more comprehensive educational development model that includes training both faculty and students in core educational skills. This will enable the ambulatory setting to reach its full educational potential in training future physicians. (+info)
Rural background and clinical rural rotations during medical training: effect on practice location.
BACKGROUND: Providing health care services in rural communities in Canada remains a challenge. What affects a family medicine resident's decision concerning practice location? Does the resident's background or exposure to rural practice during clinical rotations affect that decision? METHODS: Cross-sectional mail survey of 159 physicians who graduated from the Family Medicine Program at Queen's University, Kingston, Ont., between 1977 and 1991. The outcome variables of interest were the size of community in which the graduate chose to practise on completion of training (rural [population less than 10,000] v. nonrural [population 10,000 or more]) and the size of community of practice when the survey was conducted (1993). The predictor or independent variables were age, sex, number of years in practice, exposure to rural practice during undergraduate and residency training, and size of hometown. RESULTS: Physicians who were raised in rural communities were 2.3 times more likely than those from nonrural communities to choose to practise in a rural community immediately after graduation (95% confidence interval 1.43-3.69, p = 0.001). They were also 2.5 times more likely to still be in rural practice at the time of the survey (95% confidence interval 1.53-4.01, p = 0.001). There was no association between exposure to rural practice during undergraduate or residency training and choosing to practise in a rural community. INTERPRETATION: Physicians who have roots in rural Canada are more likely to practise in rural Canada than those without such a background. (+info)
Educational and career outcomes of an internal medicine preceptorship for first-year medical students.
OBJECTIVE: Medical educators have attempted in recent years to provide quality clinical experiences for medical students early in their medical training. We questioned whether participating in a preceptorship in internal medicine (PIM) resulted in better performances on subsequent clinical rotations and increased interest in internal medicine. PARTICIPANTS: Fifty-four students have participated in the PIM to date, with control groups consisting of students who applied for it but were not selected (n = 36), students participating in a preceptorship in family medicine (n = 168), and the remaining students (n = 330). DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: University medical center and community practices. INTERVENTION: A 2-month, clinical preceptorship following the first year of medical school. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: The following outcomes were assessed: scores in the introduction to clinical medicine course; grades in the medical ethics course; scores from the internal medicine clerkship; and choosing a career in internal medicine. In their second year, PIM students scored higher in both semesters of the introduction to clinical medicine course (87% and 86% vs 84% and 84%, p's <.01) and were more likely to receive honors in ethics (50% vs 29%, p <.01) than non-PIM students. During the internal medicine clerkship, PIM students' scores were significantly higher on an objective structured clinical examination (79% vs 76%, p =.05), ambulatory clinical evaluations (80% vs 76%, p <.01), and overall clerkship scores (78% vs 75%, p =.03) but not on inpatient clinical evaluations or on the National Board of Medical Examiners Subject Examination. Preceptorship students were more likely to receive honors grades in the medicine clerkship (33% vs 10%, p <.01), and they were more likely to match into internal medicine residencies than control students (54% vs 27%, p <.01). CONCLUSIONS: The PIM course is an intervention, early in students' careers, which appears to benefit them academically and increase their interest in internal medicine as a career. (+info)
Teaching public health to medical students in the United Kingdom--are the General Medical Council's recommendations being implemented?
BACKGROUND: Despite frequent calls to improve undergraduate medical public health teaching, little is known about whether curricula have changed. We report a survey of undergraduate public health teaching in UK medical schools in 1996. The survey aimed to assess whether the General Medical Council's 1993 recommendations to strengthen undergraduate medical education in public health have been implemented. METHODS: We asked heads of academic departments of public health at all 26 UK medical schools to complete a questionnaire and provide supporting documentation for each undergraduate public health course or module. We compared results from the 1996 survey with those from a similar survey in 1992. RESULTS: Twenty-one out of 26 (81 per cent) medical schools responded. All responding medical schools included public health teaching within their curriculum. The median number of public health courses per medical school was unchanged since 1992. A wide variety of topics were taught. Core public health subjects were taught at most schools, though over a quarter of medical schools did not cover some core topics. Between 1992 and 1996 the proportion of time devoted to teaching by lectures decreased, whereas the following all increased: teaching by small group methods; the proportion of courses using methods of assessment encouraging active learning; and the contribution of public health courses to the final degree assessment. CONCLUSION: The findings suggest that many of the General Medical Council's recommendations for improving the delivery of undergraduate education are being addressed by public health teaching in UK medical schools. However, addressing the gaps in undergraduate public health teaching revealed in this survey is a continuing challenge for academic public health departments. Medical schools should review the content of their undergraduate public health teaching to ensure that tomorrow's doctors are adequately equipped with public health knowledge and skills. (+info)
Intercalated degrees, learning styles, and career preferences: prospective longitudinal study of UK medical students.
OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects of taking an intercalated degree (BSc) on the study habits and learning styles of medical students and on their interest in a career in medical research. DESIGN: Longitudinal questionnaire study of medical students at application to medical school and in their final year. SETTING: All UK medical schools. PARTICIPANTS: 6901 medical school applicants for admission in 1991 were studied in the autumn of 1990. 3333 entered medical school in 1991 or 1992, and 2695 who were due to qualify in 1996 or 1997 were studied 3 months before the end of their clinical course. Response rates were 92% for applicants and 56% for final year students. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Study habits (surface, deep, and strategic learning style) and interest in different medical careers, including medical research. Identical questions were used at time of application and in final year. RESULTS: Students who had taken an intercalated degree had higher deep and strategic learning scores than at application to medical school. Those with highest degree classes had higher strategic and deep learning scores and lower surface learning scores. Students taking intercalated degrees showed greater interest in careers in medical research and laboratory medicine and less interest in general practice than their peers. The effects of the course on interest in medical research and learning styles were independent. The effect of the intercalated degree was greatest in schools where relatively few students took intercalated degrees. CONCLUSIONS: Intercalated degrees result in a greater interest in research careers and higher deep and strategic learning scores. However, the effects are much reduced in schools where most students intercalate a degree. Introduction of intercalated degrees for all medical students without sufficient resources may not therefore achieve its expected effects. (+info)
Clinical experience during the paediatric undergraduate course.
Medical students at the Cambridge Clinical School are provided with a list of 42 core conditions they should encounter and 20 core skills they should perform during their attachment. By self-completion questionnaires we assessed their clinical experience and the amount of teaching they received, relating the results to marks gained in end-of-attachment assessments. 103 (93%) of 110 students in year one and 123 (96%) of 128 in year two completed the questionnaires. Of the 42 core conditions, 13 were seen by under 70% of the students in year one. In year two, exposure rate increased for 26 core conditions by a median of 7% (range 2-40) and decreased in 13 core conditions by a median value 4% (range 5-13) (P = 0.0005, chi 2). Only mandatory core skills were performed by over 90% of students. 5% of students did not perform any newborn examinations and under 60% observed neonatal resuscitation or a high-risk delivery. Students' core condition score was associated with their core skill score (r = 0.5), hospital grade (r = 0.3) and exposure to acute paediatrics (r = 0.3) (P < 0.005). There was no significant association between clinical experience and the objective examination score or the amount of teaching received. There was an inverse association between the number of students at a hospital and the number of core conditions with an exposure rate above 70% at that hospital (r = 0.7, P < 0.05). This study suggests that clinical experience may be better judged by the clinical supervisor than by assessment of theoretical knowledge. (+info)
An interdisciplinary approach to a day-long palliative care course for undergraduate students.
Although it is desirable that students in the health sciences be educated together to prepare them for interdisciplinary practice, many educational programs remain discipline specific. An undergraduate course in palliative care, originally designed for medical students at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ont., was expanded in 1993 to include students from various health sciences programs in the region. The course introduces students to the components of palliative care and its interdisciplinary nature in a problem-based way and directs students to additional educational resources. The authors describe the planning, content and evaluation of the course material. The observed decline in attendance by medical students, which coincided with the introduction of the interdisciplinary format, warrants further investigation. Future directions of the course are discussed. (+info)