A short transitional course can help medical students prepare for clinical learning

Department of Family Medicine, Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City 66160, USA.
Family medicine (Impact Factor: 1.17). 01/2005; 37(7):496-501.
Source: PubMed


Despite the move toward integrated 4-year medical school curricula, many medical schools still offer a "2+2" curriculum divided into preclinical and clinical phases. These phases represent distinct learning environments that require different learning skills. To prepare students for learning in the clinical environment of the second 2 years, many medical schools offer transitional experiences before the third-year clerkships. Few of these transitional courses have published evaluations, and there is no consensus on the ideal content. In this paper, we provide evaluation and content validity data on a 2-week intensive clinical transition course for beginning third-year medical students.
A multidisciplinary team designed, implemented, and evaluated a 2-week transition course. Students indicated through surveys how prepared they felt for 18 clinical skills. We analyzed pre- and post-survey data using a Wilcoxen rank sum test and compared current to prior students using a chi-square analysis.
Students felt more prepared for 16 of 18 skills after the transitional course and for 14 of 18 skills compared to historical controls.
A transitional course based on common skills is relevant to students' clerkship experiences and can increase students' self-reported preparedness for the clinical years of medical school.

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