Medical student attitudes towards communication skills are important for curriculum planners and teachers. Xavier University School of Medicine (XUSOM) is a private medical school admitting students mainly from the United States and Canada.
Attitude of students towards communication skills has not been previously studied in the institution. Hence the present study was carried out.
The study was carried out among the first, second, third and fourth semester undergraduate medical (MD) students at XUSOM, Aruba during July 2013 using the communication skills attitude scale (CSAS). Respondents’ age, gender, nationality, occupation of parents, place of residence of family, semester of study were noted. The positive and negative attitude scale scores were calculated and compared among different subgroups of respondents (p<0.05).
Fifty-one of the seventy-three students (69.9 per cent) participated. The majority were between 20 to 25 years of age, of American nationality, from metro cities and had excellent or good self-perceived verbal and written communication skills. The mean positive attitude scale (PAS) score was 47.65 (maximum being 65) and the mean negative attitude scale (NAS) score was 31.06 (maximum 65). PAS score was significantly higher among respondents whose fathers were not in health related professions. NAS scores were significantly lower among the third and fourth semester respondents.
Students overall had a positive attitude towards communication skills but negative attitudes were also noted Based on results of the study and a review of literature we are planning to start communication skills learning in the institution right from the first semester and students will be provided opportunities for supervised practice during early clinical exposure, hospital observership and with standardised patients. The medical humanities module will be expanded and communication skills learning will continue during the clinical years with higher order skills being taught.
Attitudes; communication skills; education; medical school; medical students
As more and more information technology (IT) resources become available both for support of campus- based medical education and for Web-based learning, it becomes increasingly interesting to map the information technology resources available to medical students and the attitudes students have towards their use.
To determine how extensively and effectively information handling skills are being taught in the medical curriculum, the study investigated Internet and computer availability and usage, and attitudes towards information technology among first-year medical students in Aarhus, Denmark, during a five-year period.
In the period from 1998 to 2002, students beginning the first semester of medical school were given courses on effective use of IT in their studies. As a part of the tutorials, the students were asked to complete a web-based questionnaire which included questions related to IT readiness and attitudes towards using IT in studies.
A total of 1159 students (78%) responded. Overall, 71.7% of the respondents indicating they had access to a computer at home, a number that did not change significantly during the study period. Over time, the power of students' computers and the use of e-mail and Internet did increase significantly. By fall 2002, approximately 90% of students used e-mail regularly, 80% used the Internet regularly, and 60% had access to the Internet from home. Significantly more males than females had access to a computer at home, and males had a more positive attitude towards the use of computers in their medical studies. A fairly constant number of students (3-7%) stated that they would prefer not to have to use computers in their studies.
Taken together with our experience from classroom teaching, these results indicate optional teaching of basic information technology still needs to be integrated into medical studies, and that this need does not seem likely to disappear in the near future.
Information technology; Internet; e-mail; students, medical; education, medical
Research training is essential in a modern undergraduate medical curriculum. Our evaluation aimed to (a) gauge students' awareness of research activities, (b) compare students' perceptions of their transferable and research-specific skills competencies, (c) determine students' motivation for research and (d) obtain students' personal views on doing research.
Undergraduate medical students (N=317) completed a research skills questionnaire developed by the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Applied Undergraduate Research Skills (CETL-AURS) at Reading University. The questionnaire assessed students' transferable skills, research-specific skills (e.g., study design, data collection and data analysis), research experience and attitude and motivation towards doing research.
The majority of students are motivated to pursue research. Graduate entrants and male students appear to be the most confident regarding their research skills competencies. Although all students recognise the role of research in medical practice, many are unaware of the medical research activities or successes within their university. Of those who report no interest in a career incorporating research, a common perception was that researchers are isolated from patients and clinical practice.
Students have a narrow definition of research and what it entails. An explanation for why research competence does not align more closely with research motivation is derived from students' lack of understanding of the concept of translational research, as well as a lack of awareness of the research activity being undertaken by their teachers and mentors. We plan to address this with specific research awareness initiatives.
undergraduate; research skills; translational research; training; scholarly activity programmes
Objective. To understand technicians’ attitudes toward teaching student pharmacists and students’ attitudes toward learning from technicians.
Methods. Survey data concerning technicians’ perceived importance of pharmacy skills and their confidence in teaching those skills to student pharmacists were collected, as was survey data concerning students’ comfort level with learning skills from technicians. Skills included in each survey aligned with common student pharmacist competencies and the pharmacy technician certification examination.
Results. Fifty-eight (92.1%) responses were received from technicians and 141(97.9%) student survey instruments were returned. The skills that pharmacy technicians perceived to be most important and felt most comfortable teaching included filling a prescription and communicating effectively with patients. With the exception of communication, these skills also aligned with what the students were most comfortable learning from technicians.
Conclusions. Student pharmacists have learning goals that align with the daily tasks of pharmacy technicians. The survey results highlight areas in which technicians could be used to educate student pharmacists.
introductory pharmacy practice experiences; pharmacy technicians; survey
BACKGROUND: The acquisition and nurturing of humanistic skills and attitudes constitute an important aim of medical education. In order to assess how conducive the physician-learning environment is to the acquisition of these skills, the authors determined the extent to which clinical teachers are perceived by their trainees as humanistic with patients and students, and they explored whether undergraduate and graduate students share the same perceptions. METHODS: A mail survey was conducted in 1994/95 of all senior clerks and second-year residents at Laval University, University of Montreal and University of Sherbrooke medical schools. Of 774 trainees, 259 senior clerks and 238 second-year residents returned the questionnaire, for an overall response rate of 64%. Students' perceptions of their teachers were measured on a 6-point Likert scale applied to statements about teachers' attitudes toward the patient (5 items) and toward the student (5 items). RESULTS: On average, only 46% of the senior clerks agreed that their teachers displayed the humanistic characteristics of interest. They were especially critical of their teachers' apparent lack of sensitivity, with as many as 3 out of 4 declaring that their teachers seemed to be unconcerned about how patients adapt psychologically to their illnesses (75% of clerks) and that their teachers did not try to understand students' difficulties (78%) or to support students who have difficulties (77%). Compared with the clerks, the second-year residents were significantly less critical, those with negative perceptions varying from 27% to 58%, 40% on average. Except for this difference, their pattern of responses from one item to another was similar. INTERPRETATION: This study suggests the existence of a substantial gap between what medical trainees are expected to learn and what they actually experience over the course of their training. Because such a gap could represent a significant barrier to the acquisition of important skills, more and urgent research is needed to understand better the factors influencing students' perceptions.
Psychiatry nurses are an integral component of a multidisciplinary mental health-care team.
The current study aimed at understanding the attitude of undergraduate nursing students toward psychiatry. Additionally, the attitudes toward psychiatry have been compared across the training years among these students.
Materials and Methods:
The study was carried out at a tertiary care nurse-training institute. All the nursing students enrolled with the institute at the time of the study constituted the sample frame. The study questionnaire used in the current study was a 29-item questionnaire that assessed attitudes toward psychiatry.
The data were analyzed using SPSS ver 17.
Overall, the majority of the nursing students from all four groups had a favorable response to the statements of the Likert scale. Most of the significantly positive responses (as assessed by the Kruskal-Wallis analysis of variance of the rank order) were from the third-year and internship students. These findings were supported by the significant correlation between these statements and ranked order of the nurse-training years.
The findings of the current study present some interesting insights into the attitude of nursing students toward psychiatry.
Attitude; developing countries; mental health resources; nursing training; psychiatry
Information and communication technology (ICT) has brought many changes in medical education and practice in the last couple of decades. Teaching and learning medicine particularly has gone under profound changes due to computer technologies, and medical schools around the world have invested heavily either in new computer technologies or in the process of adapting to this technological revolution. In order to catch up with the rest of the world, developing countries need to research their options in adapting to new computer technologies.
Materials and Methods:
This descriptive survey study was designed to assess medical students’ computer and Internet skills and their attitude toward ICT.
Research findings showed that the mean score of self-perceived computer knowledge for male students in general was greater than for female students. Also, students who had participated in various prior computer workshops, had access to computer, Internet, and e-mail, and frequently checked their e-mail had higher mean of self-perceived knowledge and skill score. Finally, students with positive attitude toward ICT scored their computer knowledge higher than those who had no opinion.
The results have confirmed that the medical schools, particularly in developing countries, need to bring fundamental changes such as curriculum modification in order to integrate ICT into medical education, creating essential infrastructure for ICT use in medical education and practice, and structured computer training for faculty and students.
Basic biomedical sciences; clinical clerkship; computer knowledge and computer skills; information and communication technology; internship; medical education (MD program)
Physicians are generally poorly trained to recognize, treat or refer adolescents at risk for intimate partner violence (IPV). Participation in community programs may improve medical students’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes about IPV prevention.
To determine whether the experience of serving as educators in a community-based adolescent IPV prevention program improves medical students’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes toward victims of IPV, beyond that of didactic training.
One hundred and seventeen students attending 4 medical schools.
Students were randomly assigned to didactic training in adolescent IPV prevention with or without participation as educators in a community-based adolescent IPV prevention program. Students assigned to didactic training alone served as community educators after the study was completed.
Knowledge, self-assessment of skills and attitudes about intimate partner violence and future plans to pursue outreach work.
The baseline mean knowledge score of 10.25 improved to 21.64 after didactic training (p ≤ .001). Medical students in the “didactic plus outreach” group demonstrated higher levels of confidence in their ability to address issues of intimate partner violence, (mean = 41.91) than did students in the “didactic only” group (mean = 38.94) after controlling for initial levels of confidence (p ≤ .002).
Experience as educators in a community-based program to prevent adolescent IPV improved medical students’ confidence and attitudes in recognizing and taking action in situations of adolescent IPV, whereas participation in didactic training alone significantly improved students’ knowledge.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-008-0624-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
adolescent; community-based intervention; intimate partner violence; medical students
In medical training, statistics is considered a very difficult course to learn and teach. Current studies have found that students’ attitudes toward statistics can influence their learning process. Measuring, evaluating and monitoring the changes of students’ attitudes toward statistics are important. Few studies have focused on the attitudes of postgraduates, especially medical postgraduates. Our purpose was to understand current attitudes regarding statistics held by medical postgraduates and explore their effects on students’ achievement. We also wanted to explore the influencing factors and the sources of these attitudes and monitor their changes after a systematic statistics course.
A total of 539 medical postgraduates enrolled in a systematic statistics course completed the pre-form of the Survey of Attitudes Toward Statistics −28 scale, and 83 postgraduates were selected randomly from among them to complete the post-form scale after the course.
Most medical postgraduates held positive attitudes toward statistics, but they thought statistics was a very difficult subject. The attitudes mainly came from experiences in a former statistical or mathematical class. Age, level of statistical education, research experience, specialty and mathematics basis may influence postgraduate attitudes toward statistics. There were significant positive correlations between course achievement and attitudes toward statistics. In general, student attitudes showed negative changes after completing a statistics course.
The importance of student attitudes toward statistics must be recognized in medical postgraduate training. To make sure all students have a positive learning environment, statistics teachers should measure their students’ attitudes and monitor their change of status during a course. Some necessary assistance should be offered for those students who develop negative attitudes.
Medical postgraduate; Statistics; Survey of attitudes toward statistics
To assess a community geriatrics advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) that aimed to improve students' attitudes towards older adults and provide a student-directed learning experience.
Students provided blood pressure monitoring and medication counseling to older adults living in a low-income residential facility as part of a required 6-week ambulatory care service-learning APPE. Pre-experience and post-experience essays on students' perceptions of the elderly and their intended and actual learning were retrospectively reviewed using a qualitative process to determine whether the course objectives were met.
Many students initially described older adults in factual terms or using negative descriptors. Most expressed a desire to increase their knowledge of diseases commonly occurring in and drugs commonly prescribed for the elderly or to improve specific skills. Many students initially had difficulty articulating clear and measurable learning objectives and appropriate assessment metrics, which are important components of self-directed learning. The final essays revealed many students learned more about the humanistic aspects of care than they had anticipated.
This community-based geriatrics experience improved students' attitudes towards working with older adults and provided practice in developing and assessing their personal learning objectives.
student-directed learning; community pharmacy geriatrics; advanced pharmacy practice experience; service learning
Purpose: To evaluate whether medical student participation in TimeSlips (TS), a creative group-based storytelling program, with persons affected by dementia would improve student attitudes toward this patient population. Design and Methods: Fifteen fourth-year medical students from Penn State College of Medicine participated in a month-long regimen of TS sessions at a retirement community. Student course evaluations were analyzed at the conclusion of the program to examine perceived qualitative changes in attitude. Findings: Qualitative data revealed insights into the manner in which student attitudes toward a geriatric patient population became more positive. Implications: This is the first known pilot study to suggest that participation in a creative group-based storytelling program might improve medical student attitudes toward persons with dementia.
Dementia; Alzheimer's disease; Geriatric education; Storytelling
Community-based education has been introduced in many medical schools around the globe, but evaluation of instructional quality has remained a critical issue. Community-based education is an approach that aims to prepare students for future professional work at the community level. Instructional quality should be measured based on a program's outcomes. However, the association between learning activities and students' attitudes is unknown. The purpose of this study was to clarify what learning activities affect students' attitudes toward community health care.
From 2003 to 2009, self-administered pre- and post-questionnaire surveys were given to 693 fifth-year medical students taking a 2-week clinical clerkship. Main items measured were student attitudes, which were: "I think practicing community health care is worthwhile" ("worthwhile") and "I am confident about practicing community health care" ("confidence") using a visual analogue scale (0-100). Other items were gender, training setting, and learning activities. We analyzed the difference in attitudes before and after the clerkships by paired t test and the factors associated with a positive change in attitude by logistic regression analysis.
Six hundred forty-five students (93.1%), 494 (76.6%) male and 151(23.4%) female, completed the pre- and post-questionnaires. The VAS scores of the students' attitudes for "worthwhile" and "confidence" after the clerkship were 80.2 ± 17.4 and 57.3 ± 20.1, respectively. Both of the scores increased after the clerkship. Using multivariate logistic regression analysis, "health education" was associated with a positive change for both attitudes of "worthwhile" (adjusted RR: 1.71, 95% CI: 1.10-2.66) and "confidence" (1.56, 1.08-2.25).
Community-based education motivates students to practice community health care. In addition, their motivation is increased by the health education activity. Participating in this activity probably produces a positive effect and improves the instructional quality of the program based on its outcomes.
Psychiatry is given very less importance in the Indian undergraduate medical curriculum and this affects the attitudes of students toward psychiatry and mentally ill patients.
To study the attitude of undergraduate medical students and interns toward psychiatry and mentally ill patients.
Materials and Methods:
Undergraduate medical students and interns of a private medical college and research institute in South India consented to form our sample. We studied the General Health Questionnaire, overall level of satisfaction in ongoing Medical course using Visual Analog Scale, attitudes toward psychiatry scale and the attitudes toward mentally ill patient's scale of the students, with their informed consent. SPSS version 18 was used for analysis of data.
Participation rate was 96%. Mean age of entire sample was 20.56 years. The total mean score on the General Health Questionnaire was 13.52 in first year but became worse toward internship (18.2). The level of satisfaction in the medical course dipped from 86% at baseline to 20% during internship. Equally high scores were noted in the attitude toward mentally ill scale. On the attitude toward psychiatry scale, there were more views on psychiatry as being an unscientific specialty, psychiatrists being considered poor role models, and psychiatric teaching was of low quality and psychiatry was the least preferred career choice.
The undergraduate medical students have a very unfavorable attitude toward psychiatry and mentally ill patients.
Internship; mentally ill; psychiatry
Objectives. To assess the validity and reliability of an instrument to measure pharmacy students’ attitudes toward physician-pharmacist collaboration, and compare those attitudes to the attitudes of medical students.
Methods. One hundred sixty-six first-year pharmacy students and 77 first-year medical students at Midwestern University completed the Scale of Attitudes Toward Physician-Pharmacist Collaboration.
Results. Findings confirmed the validity and reliability of the Scale of Attitudes Toward Physician-Pharmacist Collaboration in pharmacy students, as observed previously for medical students. Pharmacy students’ mean score was significantly higher (56.6 ± 7.2) than that of medical students (52.0 ± 6.1). Maximum likelihood factoring confirmed the 3-factor solution of responsibility and accountability, shared authority, and interdisciplinary education for pharmacy students.
Conclusions. The Scale of Attitudes Toward Physician-Pharmacist Collaboration can be used for the assessment of interdisciplinary educational programs, for patient outcome assessment of interprofessional collaboration, and for group comparisons. Findings that pharmacy students expressed more positive attitudes toward collaboration than medical students have implications for interdisciplinary education.
interprofessional collaboration; interprofessional education; health professions students; reliability; validity; psychometrics; attitudes
Development of students' teaching skills is increasingly recognised as an important component of UK undergraduate medical curricula and, in consequence, there is renewed interest in the potential benefits of cross-year peer tutoring. Whilst several studies have described the use of cross-year peer tutoring in undergraduate medical courses, its use in the clinical setting is less well reported, particularly the effects of peer tutoring on volunteer tutors' views of teachers and teaching. This study explored the effects of participation in a cross-year peer tutoring programme in clinical examination skills ('OSCE tutor') on volunteer tutors' own skills and on their attitudes towards teachers and teaching.
Volunteer tutors were final year MBChB students who took part in the programme as part of a Student Selected Component (SSC). Tutees were year 3 MBChB students preparing for their end of year 'OSCE' examination. Pre and post participation questionnaires, including both Likert-type and open response questions, were used. Paired data was compared using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. All tests were two-tailed with 5% significance level.
Tutors reflected their cohort in terms of gender but were drawn from among the more academically successful final year students. Most had previous teaching experience. They were influenced to participate in 'OSCE tutor' by a desire to improve their own teaching and associated generic skills and by contextual factors relating to the organisation or previous experience of the OSCE tutor programme. Issues relating to longer term career aspirations were less important. After the event, tutors felt that participation had enhanced their skills in various areas, including practical teaching skills, confidence in speaking to groups and communication skills; and that as a result of taking part, they were now more likely to undertake further teacher training and to make teaching a major part of their career. However, whilst a number of students reported that their views of teachers and teaching had changed as a result of participation, this did not translate into significant changes in responses to questions that explored their views of the roles and qualities required of a good clinical teacher.
Findings affirm the benefits to volunteer tutors of cross-year peer tutoring, particularly in terms of skills enhancement and reinforcement of positive attitudes towards future teaching responsibilities, and have implications for the design and organisation of such programmes.
This study aimed to measure medical students’ perceptions of incorporating small group case-based learning (CBL) in traditional pharmacology lectures.
Data were collected from third-year students (N = 68; 57% males, 43% females) at Al Quds University Medical School, Palestine. The students were offered a CBL-incorporated Pharmacology-2 course after they had been taught Pharmacology-1 in the traditional format during the preceding semester. Student attitudes towards the restructured course were examined by a self-administered structured questionnaire.
The majority of students thought that CBL was an effective learning tool for them (82%) and that it improved their learning skills (83%), independent learning skills (74%), analytical skills (70%), and their level of preparation for exams (75%). Most students reported that team discussions addressed lecture objectives (84%). Regarding cases discussed, most responders said that the cases were appropriate to the lecture topics (96%) and that the time allocated for case discussion was sufficient (86%). A large proportion of students thought that CBL improved their communication and collaborative skills (68% and 80%, respectively) and ability to work within a team (79%).
Pharmacology-2 course restructuring led to a significant improvement of self-reported student satisfaction, motivation, and engagement.
Small group learning; Case-based learning; Pharmacology
Objective. To develop and assess the impact of an elective course (HealthWISE) on student pharmacists’ skills in communication and health promotion and elementary school students’ knowledge of and attitudes toward science.
Design. Three colleges and schools of pharmacy collaborated to develop a 1-credit elective course that used online and classroom teaching and learning techniques to prepare student pharmacists to teach science in elementary school classrooms. Student pharmacists delivered 6 science lessons to elementary students over the course of 2 months.
Assessment. In weekly journal reflections and a final paper, student pharmacists reported improved communication and health promotion skills. Elementary teachers reported they were satisfied with student pharmacists’ performance in the classroom. On pretest and posttest evaluations, elementary students demonstrated increased science knowledge and enhanced enthusiasm for science following the lessons taught by student pharmacists.
Conclusions. The HealthWISE elective course provided positive benefit for student pharmacists, elementary school teachers, and elementary students.
service-learning; communication skills; health promotion; STEM education
Oral presentation skills are central to physician-physician communication; however, little is known about how these skills are learned. Rhetoric is a social science which studies communication in terms of context and explores the action of language on knowledge, attitudes, and values. It has not previously been applied to medical discourse. We used rhetorical principles to qualitatively study how students learn oral presentation skills and what professional values are communicated in this process.
Inpatient general medicine service in a university-affiliated public hospital.
Twelve third-year medical students during their internal medicine clerkship and 14 teachers.
One-hundred sixty hours of ethnographic observation. including 73 oral presentations on rounds. Discoursed-based interviews of 8 students and 10 teachers. Data were qualitatively analyzed to uncover recurrent patterns of communication.
Students and teachers had different perceptions of the purpose of oral presentation, and this was reflected in performance. Students described and conducted the presentation as a rule-based, data-storage activity governed by “order” and “structure.” Teachers approached the presentation as a flexible means of “communication” and a method for “constructing” the details of a case into a diagnostic or therapeutic plan. Although most teachers viewed oral presentations rhetorically (sensitive to context), most feedback that students received was implicit and acontextual, with little guidance provided for determining relevant content. This led to dysfunctional generalizations by students, sometimes resulting in worse communication skills (e.g., comment “be brief” resulted in reading faster rather than editing) and unintended value acquisition (e.g., request for less social history interpreted as social history never relevant).
Students learn oral presentation by trial and error rather than through teaching of an explicit rhetorical model. This may delay development of effective communication skills and result in acquisition of unintended professional values. Teaching and learning of oral presentation skills may be improved by emphasizing that context determines content and by making explicit the tacit rules of presentation.
medical education; professional competence; communication; feedback; language; socialization; social sciences
With an increasing awareness of health disparities, medical schools are challenged to develop training in cultural competency for their students. We developed and evaluated the effectiveness of an interactive workshop designed to improve third-year students' attitudes, beliefs and cross-cultural communication skills. METHODS: At the start of a six-week required family medicine clerkship, 196 medical students participated in small group (20-24 students) workshops. Didactics included facts about health disparities and a model of cultural competency. During a skill-building component, students were exposed to live vignettes portraying ineffective and effective cross-cultural doctor-patient interactions. Impact on students' attitudes, perceived bias and knowledge of techniques was assessed by comparing pre- and postworkshop scores. RESULTS: Participants increased their cultural awareness on most items of a cultural awareness scale. Fifty-five-, 71- and 66% of the sample agreed or strongly agreed the program was valuable, appropriate and effective, respectively. Conversely, only 17-, 6- and 9% of the sample disagreed or strongly disagreed, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: A workshop for third-year students led to an increase in cultural awareness and was considered appropriate and valuable. Further study, including longitudinal training and evaluation, is needed regarding effective methods to increase cultural competence in clinical practice.
Objective: Positive attitudes towards General Practice can be understood as a prerequisite for becoming a General Practitioner (GP) and for collaboration with GPs later on. This study aimed to assess attitudes of medical students at the beginning and the end of medical school.
Methods: A total of 160 1st year students at Hannover Medical School were surveyed. Their attitudes were compared to those of 287 5th year students. Descriptive, bi- and multivariate analyses were performed to investigate influences of year of study and gender.
Results: Year of study and gender both were associated with the attitudes towards General Practice. The interest in General Practice and patient-orientation (communication, care of older patients with chronic diseases) was higher in 1st year students compared to more advanced students. Female students valued such requirements more than male students, the differences in attitudes between the years of study being more pronounced in male students.
Conclusion: Despite some limitations caused by the cross-sectional design, the attitudes towards General Practice competencies changed to their disadvantage during medical school. This suggests a formative influence of the strategies used in medical education. Educational strategies, however, could be used to bring about a change of attitudes in the other direction.
General Practice; Medical Education Research; Survey; Competencies; Attitudes
The main objective of the medical curriculum is to provide medical students with knowledge, skills and attitudes required for their practice. A decade ago, the UK Medical Council issued a report called “Tomorrow's Doctors”1 which called for the reduction in the factual content of the medical course with the promotion of problem-based and self-dedicated learning. This report was the basis for a move toward an extensive reform of the medical and nursing curricula. The new reformed curricula enhanced the integrated medical teaching and emphasized the teaching and learning of clinical skills. However, there were still concerns about the standards and appropriateness of the skills of new medical graduates.2
The changes in the teaching and learning methods, the radical changes in the health care delivery and the rapid growth of technology challenged the traditional way of clinical skills development and led to the emergence of clinical skills laboratories (CSLs) in the medical education of many medical and nursing schools. With the proliferation of the CSLs, it is important to evaluate and introduce the reader to their applications, bearing in mind the paucity of information on this subject particularly over the last couple of years. This article is based on literature review.
Clinical; Skills; Laboratories; Centers; Units
To investigate attitudes of Iranian senior dental students towards preventive dentistry in relation to their background factors and self-perceived competency in providing preventive care.
Materials and Methods:
In spring 2008, a questionnaire survey was conducted with all the senior dental students of seven randomly selected state dental schools in Iran. In addition to the respondents’ age and gender, the voluntary questionnaire assessed the students’ attitudes towards preventive dentistry by means of a seven-point semantic differential scale of nine qualities and their opposites, and their self-perceived competency in providing preventive care by five separate questions. To identify the underlying dimensions for attitude, a factor analysis with principle component method and varimax rotation was applied. Independent sample t-test served for statistical analysis. Of the 242 students receiving the questionnaire, 182 students (75%) responded. The mean age of the participants was 26 years and 42% of them were men.
Based on the factor analysis, which explained 60% of the total variance, two attitude dimensions were identified; the profession-related dimension and the health service-related dimension. Competency in giving preventive care in all the five specified areas was reported by 44% of the students with no significant gender differences. The mean for the dentist-related dimension was significantly higher among the students who reported competency in giving preventive care (P=0.005).
There is room for improvement in senior dental students’ attitudes towards preventive dentistry. In order to create more positive attitudes for future dental professionals, there should be an early and sufficient exposure to preventive aspects of dentistry in the dental curricula.
Dental Education; Prevention; Attitude; Dental Students
To assess the impact of a six-week Family Medicine (FM) course on students’ self-assessment of their own knowledge, skills and their attitude towards innovative learning methods and career choice before and after the course, and their evaluation of different aspects of the course curriculum.
An observational study, where the study subjects were requested to fill out a standardized five-point Likert scale questionnaire at the start and at the end of the course. The questionnaire explored their knowledge and attitude in addition to their general evaluation of the course. One hundred forty-seven fourth year medical students who undertook FM clinical rotation were the study subjects. The course had some innovative features. For example, students were involved in the selection of the course content by identifying their learning needs.
A comparison of pre and post-test observations showed a statistically significant improvement in students’ assessment of their knowledge (p < 0.0001) and clinical skills (p = 0.012). A significant positive change was also observed in their choice of FM as a future career (p = 0.008). The intervention was not effective (non-significant difference) on (i) students’ attitude towards innovative learning methods (p = 0.314) and (ii) students’ attitude towards patients and certain ethical issues (p = 0.99). As the curriculum stemmed from collaboration of learners and teachers, the students were satisfied with the content.
There is a need to improve the training in the HC by recruiting family practitioners (FP) who have had residency training for the specialty and to train the other physicians in how to supervise and guide medical students. Topics on ethical issues should be introduced into the college curriculum.
Family Medicine; knowledge; skills; attitudes; career; King Saud University
Objectives. To design, integrate, and assess the effectiveness of an introductory pharmacy practice experience intended to redefine first-year student pharmacists’ views on aging and medication use through their work with a healthy, community-based older-adult population.
Design. All students (N = 273) completed live skills training in an 8-hour boot camp provided during orientation week. Teams were assigned an independently living senior partner, completed 10 visits and reflections, and documented health-related information using an electronic portfolio (e-portfolio).
Assessment. As determined by pre- and post-experience survey instruments, students gained significant confidence in 7 skill areas related to communication, medication interviews, involving the partner in health care, and applying patient-care skills. Student reflections, in-class presentations, and e-portfolios documented that personal attitudes toward seniors changed over time. Senior partners enjoyed mentoring and interacting with students and many experienced health improvements as a result of the interaction.
Conclusions. The model for partnering first-year student pharmacists with community-based older adults improved students’ skills and fostered their connections to pharmacist roles and growth as person-centered providers.
geriatrics; senior partner; senior mentor; introductory pharmacy practice experience
There is considerable ambiguity in the subjective dimensions that comprise much of the relational dynamic of the clinical encounter. Comfort with this ambiguity, and recognition of the potential uncertainty of particular domains of medicine (e.g. – cultural factors of illness expression, value bias in diagnoses, etc) is an important facet of medical education. This paper begins by defining ambiguity and uncertainty as relevant to clinical practice. Studies have shown differing patterns of students' tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty that appear to reflect extant attitudinal predispositions toward technology, objectivity, culture, value- and theory-ladeness, and the need for self-examination. This paper reports on those findings specifically related to the theme of uncertainty as relevant to teaching about cultural diversity. Its focus is to identify how and where the theme of certainty arose in the teaching and learning of cultural diversity, what were the attitudes toward this theme and topic, and how these attitudes and responses reflect and inform this area of medical pedagogy.
A semi-structured interview was undertaken with 61 stakeholders (including policymakers, diversity teachers, students and users). The data were analysed and themes identified.
There were diverse views about what the term cultural diversity means and what should constitute the cultural diversity curriculum. There was a need to provide certainty in teaching cultural diversity with diversity teachers feeling under considerable pressure to provide information. Students discomfort with uncertainty was felt to drive cultural diversity teaching towards factual emphasis rather than reflection or taking a patient centred approach.
Students and faculty may feel that cultural diversity teaching is more about how to avoid professional, medico-legal pitfalls, rather than improving the patient experience or the patient-physician relationship. There may be pressure to imbue cultural diversity issues with levels of objectivity and certainty representative of other aspects of the medical curriculum (e.g. – biochemistry). This may reflect a particular selection bias for students with a technocentric orientation. Inadvertently, medical education may enhance this bias through training effects, and accommodate disregard for subjectivity, over-reliance upon technology and thereby foster incorrect assumptions of objective certainty. We opine that it is important to teach students that technology cannot guarantee certainty, and that dealing with subjectivity, diversity, ambiguity and uncertainty is inseparable from the personal dimension of medicine as moral enterprise. Uncertainty is inherent in cultural diversity so this part of the curriculum provides an opportunity to address the issue as it relates to pateint care.