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author:("doran, Tim")
1.  Community perceptions of a rural medical school: a pilot qualitative study 
Background
This paper explores local community perceptions of a relatively new rural medical school. For the purposes of this paper, community engagement is conceptualized as involvement in planning, delivering, and evaluating the medical program. Although there are several reviews of patient involvement in medical curricula development, this study was designed to pilot an approach to exploring the perspectives of well members of the community in the transition of institutional policy on community engagement to one medical school.
Methods
An advertisement in the local newspaper invited volunteers to participate in a telephone interview about the new medical school. An independent researcher external to the medical school conducted the interviews using a topic guide. Audio recordings were not made, but detailed notes including verbatim statements were recorded. At least two research team members analyzed interview records for emergent themes. Human research ethics approval was obtained.
Results
Twelve interviews were conducted. Participants offered rich imaginings on the role of the school and expectations and opportunities for students. Most participants expressed strong and positive views, especially in addressing long-term health workforce issues. It was considered important that students live, mix, and study in the community. Some participants had very clear ideas about the need of the school to address specified needs, such as indigenous health, obesity, aging, drug and alcohol problems, teenage pregnancy, ethnic diversity, and working with people of low socioeconomic status.
Conclusion
This study has initiated a dialogue with potential partners in the community, which can be built upon to shape the medical school’s mission and contribution to the society it serves. The telephone interview approach and thematic analysis yielded valuable insights and is recommended for further studies. Our study was limited by its small study size and the single recruitment source. The community is a rich resource for medical education, but there is a dearth of literature on the perspectives of the community and its role in medical education.
doi:10.2147/AMEP.S70876
PMCID: PMC4230173  PMID: 25404864
community engagement; medical education; medical school; community-based education; rural; curriculum development
2.  Who needs beds? 
doi:10.1007/s40037-014-0146-8
PMCID: PMC4235810  PMID: 25300338
3.  Medical students’ reactions to an experience-based learning model of clinical education 
An experience-based learning (ExBL) model proposes: Medical students learn in workplaces by ‘supported participation’; affects are an important dimension of support; many learning outcomes are affective; supported participation influences students’ professional identity development. The purpose of the study was to check how the model, which is the product of a series of earlier research studies, aligned with students’ experiences, akin to the ‘member checking’ stage of a qualitative research project. In three group discussions, a researcher explained ExBL to 19 junior clinical students, who discussed how it corresponded with their experiences of clinical learning and were given a written précis of it to take away. One to 3 weeks later, they wrote 500-word reflective pieces relating to their subsequent experiences with ExBL. Four researchers conducted a qualitative analysis. Having found many instances of responses ‘resonating’ to the model, the authors systematically identified and coded respondents’ ‘resonances’ to define how they aligned with their experiences. 120 resonances were identified. Seventy (58 %) were positive experiences and 50 (42 %) negative ones. Salient experiences were triggered by the learning environment in 115 instances (96 %) and by learners themselves in 5 instances (4 %), consistent with a strong effect of environment on learning processes. Affective support was apparent in 129 of 203 statements (64 %) of resonances and 118 learning outcomes (58 %) were also affective. ExBL aligns with medical students’ experiences of clinical learning. Subject to further research, these findings suggest ExBL could be used to support the preparation of faculty and students for workplace learning.
doi:10.1007/s40037-013-0061-4
PMCID: PMC3656171  PMID: 23670698
Clerkship education; Experience based learning; Qualitative analysis
4.  Medical students’ reactions to an experience-based learning model of clinical education 
An experience-based learning (ExBL) model proposes: Medical students learn in workplaces by ‘supported participation’; affects are an important dimension of support; many learning outcomes are affective; supported participation influences students’ professional identity development. The purpose of the study was to check how the model, which is the product of a series of earlier research studies, aligned with students’ experiences, akin to the ‘member checking’ stage of a qualitative research project. In three group discussions, a researcher explained ExBL to 19 junior clinical students, who discussed how it corresponded with their experiences of clinical learning and were given a written précis of it to take away. One to 3 weeks later, they wrote 500-word reflective pieces relating to their subsequent experiences with ExBL. Four researchers conducted a qualitative analysis. Having found many instances of responses ‘resonating’ to the model, the authors systematically identified and coded respondents’ ‘resonances’ to define how they aligned with their experiences. 120 resonances were identified. Seventy (58 %) were positive experiences and 50 (42 %) negative ones. Salient experiences were triggered by the learning environment in 115 instances (96 %) and by learners themselves in 5 instances (4 %), consistent with a strong effect of environment on learning processes. Affective support was apparent in 129 of 203 statements (64 %) of resonances and 118 learning outcomes (58 %) were also affective. ExBL aligns with medical students’ experiences of clinical learning. Subject to further research, these findings suggest ExBL could be used to support the preparation of faculty and students for workplace learning.
doi:10.1007/s40037-013-0061-4
PMCID: PMC3656171  PMID: 23670698
Clerkship education; Experience based learning; Qualitative analysis
5.  Does reflection have an effect upon case-solving abilities of undergraduate medical students? 
BMC Medical Education  2012;12:75.
Background
Reflection on professional experience is increasingly accepted as a critical attribute for health care practice; however, evidence that it has a positive impact on performance remains scarce. This study investigated whether, after allowing for the effects of knowledge and consultation skills, reflection had an independent effect on students’ ability to solve problem cases.
Methods
Data was collected from 362 undergraduate medical students at Ghent University solving video cases and reflected on the experience of doing so. For knowledge and consultation skills results on a progress test and a course teaching consultation skills were used respectively. Stepwise multiple linear regression analysis was used to test the relationship between the quality of case-solving (dependent variable) and reflection skills, knowledge, and consultation skills (dependent variables).
Results
Only students with data on all variables available (n = 270) were included for analysis. The model was significant (Anova F(3,269) = 11.00, p < 0.001, adjusted R square 0.10) with all variables significantly contributing.
Conclusion
Medical students’ reflection had a small but significant effect on case-solving, which supports reflection as an attribute for performance. These findings suggest that it would be worthwhile testing the effect of reflection skills training on clinical competence.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-12-75
PMCID: PMC3492041  PMID: 22889271
6.  Using video-cases to assess student reflection: Development and validation of an instrument 
BMC Medical Education  2012;12:22.
Background
Reflection is a meta-cognitive process, characterized by: 1. Awareness of self and the situation; 2. Critical analysis and understanding of both self and the situation; 3. Development of new perspectives to inform future actions. Assessors can only access reflections indirectly through learners’ verbal and/or written expressions. Being privy to the situation that triggered reflection could place reflective materials into context. Video-cases make that possible and, coupled with a scoring rubric, offer a reliable way of assessing reflection.
Methods
Fourth and fifth year undergraduate medical students were shown two interactive video-cases and asked to reflect on this experience, guided by six standard questions. The quality of students’ reflections were scored using a specially developed Student Assessment of Reflection Scoring rubric (StARS®). Reflection scores were analyzed concerning interrater reliability and ability to discriminate between students. Further, the intra-rater reliability and case specificity were estimated by means of a generalizability study with rating and case scenario as facets.
Results
Reflection scores of 270 students ranged widely and interrater reliability was acceptable (Krippendorff’s alpha = 0.88). The generalizability study suggested 3 or 4 cases were needed to obtain reliable ratings from 4th year students and ≥ 6 cases from 5th year students.
Conclusion
Use of StARS® to assess student reflections triggered by standardized video-cases had acceptable discriminative ability and reliability. We offer this practical method for assessing reflection summatively, and providing formative feedback in training situations.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-12-22
PMCID: PMC3426495  PMID: 22520632
7.  Workplace learning 
This critical review found Dutch research to be strong at the undergraduate and residency levels and more or less absent in continuing medical education. It confirms the importance of coaching medical students, giving constructive feedback, and ensuring practice environments are conducive to learning though it has proved hard to improve them. Residents learn primarily from experiences encountered in the course of clinical work but the fine balance between delivering clinical services and learning can easily be upset by work pressure. More intervention studies are needed. Qualitative research designs need to be more methodologically sophisticated and use a wider range of data sources including direct observation, audio-diaries, and text analysis. Areas for improvement are clear but achieving results will require persistence and patience.
doi:10.1007/s40037-012-0005-4
PMCID: PMC3540354  PMID: 23316455
Workplace learning; Undergraduate medical education; Residency; Continuing medical education; Qualitative research
8.  Manchester Clinical Placement Index (MCPI). Conditions for medical students’ learning in hospital and community placements 
The drive to quality-manage medical education has created a need for valid measurement instruments. Validity evidence includes the theoretical and contextual origin of items, choice of response processes, internal structure, and interrelationship of a measure’s variables. This research set out to explore the validity and potential utility of an 11-item measurement instrument, whose theoretical and empirical origins were in an Experience Based Learning model of how medical students learn in communities of practice (COPs), and whose contextual origins were in a community-oriented, horizontally integrated, undergraduate medical programme. The objectives were to examine the psychometric properties of the scale in both hospital and community COPs and provide validity evidence to support using it to measure the quality of placements. The instrument was administered twice to students learning in both hospital and community placements and analysed using exploratory factor analysis and a generalizability analysis. 754 of a possible 902 questionnaires were returned (84% response rate), representing 168 placements. Eight items loaded onto two factors, which accounted for 78% of variance in the hospital data and 82% of variance in the community data. One factor was the placement learning environment, whose five constituent items were how learners were received at the start of the placement, people’s supportiveness, and the quality of organisation, leadership, and facilities. The other factor represented the quality of training—instruction in skills, observing students performing skills, and providing students with feedback. Alpha coefficients ranged between 0.89 and 0.93 and there were no redundant or ambiguous items. Generalisability analysis showed that between 7 and 11 raters would be needed to achieve acceptable reliability. There is validity evidence to support using the simple 8-item, mixed methods Manchester Clinical Placement Index to measure key conditions for undergraduate medical students’ experience based learning: the quality of the learning environment and the training provided within it. Its conceptual orientation is towards Communities of Practice, which is a dominant contemporary theory in undergraduate medical education.
doi:10.1007/s10459-011-9344-x
PMCID: PMC3490061  PMID: 22234383
Workplace learning; Learning environment; Evaluation; Communities of practice; Experience based learning
9.  Factors confounding the assessment of reflection: a critical review 
BMC Medical Education  2011;11:104.
Background
Reflection on experience is an increasingly critical part of professional development and lifelong learning. There is, however, continuing uncertainty about how best to put principle into practice, particularly as regards assessment. This article explores those uncertainties in order to find practical ways of assessing reflection.
Discussion
We critically review four problems: 1. Inconsistent definitions of reflection; 2. Lack of standards to determine (in)adequate reflection; 3. Factors that complicate assessment; 4. Internal and external contextual factors affecting the assessment of reflection.
Summary
To address the problem of inconsistency, we identified processes that were common to a number of widely quoted theories and synthesised a model, which yielded six indicators that could be used in assessment instruments. We arrived at the conclusion that, until further progress has been made in defining standards, assessment must depend on developing and communicating local consensus between stakeholders (students, practitioners, teachers, supervisors, curriculum developers) about what is expected in exercises and formal tests. Major factors that complicate assessment are the subjective nature of reflection's content and the dependency on descriptions by persons being assessed about their reflection process, without any objective means of verification. To counter these validity threats, we suggest that assessment should focus on generic process skills rather than the subjective content of reflection and where possible to consider objective information about the triggering situation to verify described reflections. Finally, internal and external contextual factors such as motivation, instruction, character of assessment (formative or summative) and the ability of individual learning environments to stimulate reflection should be considered.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-11-104
PMCID: PMC3268719  PMID: 22204704
10.  The self critical doctor: helping students become more reflective 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2008;336(7648):827-830.
Reflection underpins learning from experience, so how do you foster reflection in your students? This article explores the best ways to do this
doi:10.1136/bmj.39503.608032.AD
PMCID: PMC2292362  PMID: 18403547
11.  Lifelong learning at work 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2008;336(7645):667-669.
The importance of lifelong learning in medicine is well recognised. This article explores how junior doctors can develop learning strategies for use throughout their working life
doi:10.1136/bmj.39434.601690.AD
PMCID: PMC2270942  PMID: 18356236
12.  Students’ perceptions of patient safety during the transition from undergraduate to postgraduate training: an activity theory analysis 
Evidence that medical error can cause harm to patients has raised the attention of the health care community towards patient safety and influenced how and what medical students learn about it. Patient safety is best taught when students are participating in clinical practice where they actually encounter patients at risk. This type of learning is referred to as workplace learning, a complex system in which various factors influence what is being learned and how. A theory that can highlight potential difficulties in this complex learning system about patient safety is activity theory. Thirty-four final year undergraduate medical students participated in four focus groups about their experiences concerning patient safety. Using activity theory as analytical framework, we performed constant comparative thematic analysis of the focus group transcripts to identify important themes. We found eight general themes relating to two activities: learning to be a doctor and delivering safe patient care. Simultaneous occurrence of these two activities can cause contradictions. Our results illustrate the complexity of learning about patient safety at the workplace. Students encounter contradictions when learning about patient safety, especially during a transitional phase of their training. These contradictions create potential learning opportunities which should be used in education about patient safety. Insight into the complexities of patient safety is essential to improve education in this important area of medicine.
doi:10.1007/s10459-010-9266-z
PMCID: PMC3139877  PMID: 21132361
Activity theory; Communities of practice; Patient safety; Workplace learning
13.  Early practical experience and the social responsiveness of clinical education: systematic review 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7513):387-391.
Objectives To find how early experience in clinical and community settings (“early experience”) affects medical education, and identify strengths and limitations of the available evidence.
Design A systematic review rating, by consensus, the strength and importance of outcomes reported in the decade 1992-2001.
Data sources Bibliographical databases and journals were searched for publications on the topic, reviewed under the auspices of the recently formed Best Evidence Medical Education (BEME) collaboration.
Selection of studies All empirical studies (verifiable, observational data) were included, whatever their design, method, or language of publication.
Results Early experience was most commonly provided in community settings, aiming to recruit primary care practitioners for underserved populations. It increased the popularity of primary care residencies, albeit among self selected students. It fostered self awareness and empathic attitudes towards ill people, boosted students' confidence, motivated them, gave them satisfaction, and helped them develop a professional identity. By helping develop interpersonal skills, it made entering clerkships a less stressful experience. Early experience helped students learn about professional roles and responsibilities, healthcare systems, and health needs of a population. It made biomedical, behavioural, and social sciences more relevant and easier to learn. It motivated and rewarded teachers and patients and enriched curriculums. In some countries, junior students provided preventive health care directly to underserved populations.
Conclusion Early experience helps medical students learn, helps them develop appropriate attitudes towards their studies and future practice, and orientates medical curriculums towards society's needs. Experimental evidence of its benefit is unlikely to be forthcoming and yet more medical schools are likely to provide it. Effort could usefully be concentrated on evaluating the methods and outcomes of early experience provided within non-experimental research designs, and using that evaluation to improve the quality of curriculums.
PMCID: PMC1184253  PMID: 16096306
15.  What can experience add to early medical education? Consensus survey 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2004;329(7470):834.
Objective To provide a rationale for integrating experience into early medical education (“early experience”).
Design Small group discussions to obtain stakeholders' views. Grounded theory analysis with respondent, internal, and external validation.
Setting Problem based, undergraduate medical curriculum that is not vertically integrated.
Participants A purposive sample of 64 students, staff, and curriculum leaders from three university medical schools in the United Kingdom.
Results Without early experience, the curriculum was socially isolating and divorced from clinical practice. The abruptness of students' transition to the clinical environment in year 3 generated positive and negative emotions. The rationale for early experience would be to ease the transition; orientate the curriculum towards the social context of practice; make students more confident to approach patients; motivate them; increase their awareness of themselves and others; strengthen, deepen, and contextualise their theoretical knowledge; teach intellectual skills; strengthen learning of behavioural and social sciences; and teach them about the role of health professionals.
Conclusion A rationale for early experience would be to strengthen and deepen cognitively, broaden affectively, contextualise, and integrate medical education. This is partly a process of professional socialisation that should start earlier to avoid an abrupt transition. “Experience” can be defined as “authentic human contact in a social or clinical context that enhances learning of health, illness or disease, and the role of the health professional.”
PMCID: PMC521574  PMID: 15472265

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