Easing the transition: Medical students' perceptions of critical skills required for the clerkships

Risa Wolf, R. P. Soriano, M. Chietero, J. Quintana, V. Parkas, J. Koestler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: The preclinical years of undergraduate medical education provide educational content in a structured learning environment whereas clerkships provide clinical training in a more experiential manner. Although early clinical skills training is emphasized in many medical schools, students still feel unprepared and anxious about starting their clerkships. This study identifies the skills medical students perceive as essential and those skill areas students are most anxious about prior to starting clerkship rotations. Methods: Open-ended questionnaires were administered to two cohorts of students, preclinical students (PCS) completing their second year and clinical students (CS) in the ninth month of the clinical training of their third year at a single urban US medical school. The following questions were addressed in the survey: which three clinical skills do they perceive are most essential for the clerkships; which skills are students most anxious about as they enter clerkships; and what additional skills training should be provided to students to ease the transition into clerkships. Results: Response rate to the questionnaire was 84%. PCS (n=93) reported the three most essential skills to be prepared for clerkships are: history taking/physical examination (73%), proficiency in oral case presentations (56%), and generation, of differential diagnosis (46%). CS (n=105) reported interpersonal skills (80%), history taking/physical examination (37%), and time management (26%) as most essential. PCS were most anxious about their oral case presentation skills (30%), but CS were most concerned about time management and self care (40%). Conclusions: This study identified the skills that students at one school regard as most important to have mastered before beginning clerkship training and the areas students find most anxiety provoking before and after they make the transition into clerkships. These results can inform medical educators about needed curriculum to facilitate this transition and decrease the anxiety of students entering the clinical realm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number192
JournalEducation for Health: Change in Learning and Practice
Volume21
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Medical Students
medical student
Students
student
Clinical Competence
Time Management
time management
Medical Schools
Physical Examination
Anxiety
Clinical Clerkship
Undergraduate Medical Education
school
anxiety
educational content
examination
questionnaire
Self Care
Curriculum
Differential Diagnosis

Keywords

  • Clerkships
  • Clinical skills
  • Medical students
  • Transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Education

Cite this

Easing the transition : Medical students' perceptions of critical skills required for the clerkships. / Wolf, Risa; Soriano, R. P.; Chietero, M.; Quintana, J.; Parkas, V.; Koestler, J.

In: Education for Health: Change in Learning and Practice, Vol. 21, No. 3, 192, 2008.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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