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What are the benefits of early patient contact? - A comparison of three preclinical patient contact settings

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      Abstract

      BackgroundDespite increasing attention to providing preclinical medical students with early patient experiences, little is known about associated outcomes for students. The authors compared three early patient experiences at a large American medical school where all preclinical students complete preceptorships and weekly bedside clinical-skills training and about half complete clinical, community-based summer immersion experiences. The authors asked, what are the relative outcomes and important educational components for students?MethodsMedical students completed surveys at end of second year 2009–2011. In 2009, students compared/contrasted two of three approaches; responses framed later survey questions. In 2010 and 2011, students rated all three experiences in relevant areas (e.g., developing comfort in clinical setting). Investigators performed qualitative and quantitative analyses.ResultsStudents rated bedside training more highly for developing comfort with clinical settings, one-on-one clinical-skills training, feedback, active clinical experience, quality of clinical training, and learning to be part of a team. They rated community clinical immersion and preceptorships more highly for understanding the life/practice of a physician and career/specialty decisions.ConclusionsPreclinical students received different benefits from the different experiences. Medical schools should define objectives of early clinical experiences and offer options accordingly. A combination of experiences may help students achieve clinical and team comfort, clinical skills, an understanding of physicians’ lives/practices, and broad exposure for career decisions.

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      Competency-based medical education: theory to practice.

      Although competency-based medical education (CBME) has attracted renewed interest in recent years among educators and policy-makers in the health care professions, there is little agreement on many aspects of this paradigm. We convened a unique partnership - the International CBME Collaborators - to examine conceptual issues and current debates in CBME. We engaged in a multi-stage group process and held a consensus conference with the aim of reviewing the scholarly literature of competency-based medical education, identifying controversies in need of clarification, proposing definitions and concepts that could be useful to educators across many jurisdictions, and exploring future directions for this approach to preparing health professionals. In this paper, we describe the evolution of CBME from the outcomes movement in the 20th century to a renewed approach that, focused on accountability and curricular outcomes and organized around competencies, promotes greater learner-centredness and de-emphasizes time-based curricular design. In this paradigm, competence and related terms are redefined to emphasize their multi-dimensional, dynamic, developmental, and contextual nature. CBME therefore has significant implications for the planning of medical curricula and will have an important impact in reshaping the enterprise of medical education. We elaborate on this emerging CBME approach and its related concepts, and invite medical educators everywhere to enter into further dialogue about the promise and the potential perils of competency-based medical curricula for the 21st century.
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        How can experience in clinical and community settings contribute to early medical education? A BEME systematic review.

        Review period January 1992-December 2001. Final analysis July 2004-January 2005. BACKGROUND AND REVIEW CONTEXT: There has been no rigorous systematic review of the outcomes of early exposure to clinical and community settings in medical education. OBJECTIVES OF REVIEW: Identify published empirical evidence of the effects of early experience in medical education, analyse it, and synthesize conclusions from it. Identify the strengths and limitations of the research effort to date, and identify objectives for future research. Ovid search of: BEI, ERIC, Medline, CINAHL and EMBASE Additional electronic searches of: Psychinfo, Timelit, EBM reviews, SIGLE, and the Cochrane databases. Hand-searches of:Medical Education, Medical Teacher, Academic Medicine, Teaching and Learning in Medicine, Advances in Health Sciences Education, Journal of Educational Psychology. Authentic (real as opposed to simulated) human contact in a social or clinical context that enhances learning of health, illness and/or disease, and the role of the health professional. Early: What would traditionally have been regarded as the preclinical phase, usually the first 2 years. Inclusions: All empirical studies (verifiable, observational data) of early experience in the basic education of health professionals, whatever their design or methodology, including papers not in English. Evidence from other health care professions that could be applied to medicine was included. Not empirical; not early; post-basic; simulated rather than 'authentic' experience. Careful validation of selection processes. Coding by two reviewers onto an extensively modified version of the standard BEME coding sheet. Accumulation into an Access database. Secondary coding and synthesis of an interpretation. A total of 73 studies met the selection criteria and yielded 277 educational outcomes; 116 of those outcomes (from 38 studies) were rated strong and important enough to include in a narrative synthesis of results; 76% of those outcomes were from descriptive studies and 24% from comparative studies. Early experience motivated and satisfied students of the health professions and helped them acclimatize to clinical environments, develop professionally, interact with patients with more confidence and less stress, develop self-reflection and appraisal skill, and develop a professional identity. It strengthened their learning and made it more real and relevant to clinical practice. It helped students learn about the structure and function of the healthcare system, and about preventive care and the role of health professionals. It supported the learning of both biomedical and behavioural/social sciences and helped students acquire communication and basic clinical skills. There were outcomes for beneficiaries other than students, including teachers, patients, populations, organizations and specialties. Early experience increased recruitment to primary care/rural medical practice, though mainly in US studies which introduced it for that specific purpose as part of a complex intervention. Early experience helps medical students socialize to their chosen profession. It helps them acquire a range of subject matter and makes their learning more real and relevant. It has potential benefits for other stakeholders, notably teachers and patients. It can influence career choices.
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          Shifting paradigms: from Flexner to competencies.

          Realizing medical education is on the brink of a major paradigm shift from structure- and process-based to competency-based education and measurement of outcomes, the authors reviewed the existing medical literature to provide practical insight into how to accomplish full implementation and evaluation of this new paradigm. They searched Medline and the Educational Resource Information Clearinghouse from the 1960s until the present, reviewed the titles and abstracts of the 469 articles the search produced, and chose 68 relevant articles for full review. The authors found that in the 1970s and 1980s much attention was given to the need for and the development of professional competencies for many medical disciplines. Little attention, however, was devoted to defining the benchmarks of specific competencies, how to attain them, or the evaluation of competence. Lack of evaluation strategies was likely one of the forces responsible for the three-decade lag between initiation of the movement and wide-spread adoption. Lessons learned from past experiences include the importance of strategic planning and faculty and learner buy-in for defining competencies. In addition, the benchmarks for defining competency and the thresholds for attaining competence must be clearly delineated. The development of appropriate assessment tools to measure competence remains the challenge of this decade, and educators must be responsible for studying the impact of this paradigm shift to determine whether its ultimate effect is the production of more competent physicians.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Office of the CEO, UW Medicine and Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Washington, Box 356350, Seattle, WA 98195-6350, USA
            [2 ]Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Box 356429, Seattle, WA 98195-4328, USA
            [3 ]Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200, MD, Maastricht, the Netherlands
            Contributors
            Journal
            BMC Med Educ
            BMC Med Educ
            BMC Medical Education
            BioMed Central
            1472-6920
            2013
            3 June 2013
            : 13
            : 80
            23731514
            3674974
            1472-6920-13-80
            10.1186/1472-6920-13-80
            Copyright ©2013 Wenrich et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

            Categories
            Research Article

            Education

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