Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of jrsocmedLink to Publisher's site
J R Soc Med. 1999 June; 92(6): 293–298.
PMCID: PMC1297208

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.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (997K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Walker DA, Stephenson T, Blair M. Child health education for the year 2000. Arch Dis Child. 1995 Sep;73(3):261–263. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Sherwood T. 1,000 Cambridge clinical students: a 15-year survey of a new medical school's graduates. J R Coll Physicians Lond. 1998 Jan-Feb;32(1):49–55. [PubMed]
  • Guthrie E, Black D, Bagalkote H, Shaw C, Campbell M, Creed F. Psychological stress and burnout in medical students: a five-year prospective longitudinal study. J R Soc Med. 1998 May;91(5):237–243. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • McManus IC, Richards P, Winder BC. Clinical experience of UK medical students. Lancet. 1998 Mar 14;351(9105):802–803. [PubMed]
  • McManus IC, Richards P, Winder BC, Sproston KA. Clinical experience, performance in final examinations, and learning style in medical students: prospective study. BMJ. 1998 Jan 31;316(7128):345–350. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Cowan FJ, Shortland GJ, Davies DP. Audit of medical students' experiences of paediatric teaching: a tool to monitor and improve clinical teaching. J R Coll Physicians Lond. 1996 Jan-Feb;30(1):58–60. [PubMed]
  • Davies H. Teaching undergraduates child health: what, how, where, and when? Arch Dis Child. 1995 Sep;73(3):266–268. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Paton JY, Cockburn F. Core knowledge, skills, and attitudes in child health for undergraduates. Arch Dis Child. 1995 Sep;73(3):263–265. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Shortland GJ, Davies DP. Assessing undergraduates' practical clinical skills. Arch Dis Child. 1995 Feb;72(2):161–162. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Chåtenay M, Maguire T, Skakun E, Chang G, Cook D, Warnock GL. Does volume of clinical experience affect performance of clinical clerks on surgery exit examinations? Am J Surg. 1996 Oct;172(4):366–372. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine are provided here courtesy of Royal Society of Medicine Press