Medical Education in Decentralized Settings: How Medical Students Contribute to Health Care in 10 Sub-Saharan African Countries.
ABSTRACT: African medical schools are expanding, straining resources at tertiary health facilities. Decentralizing clinical training can alleviate this tension. This study assessed the impact of decentralized training and contribution of undergraduate medical students at health facilities.Participants were from 11 Medical Education Partnership Initiative-funded medical schools in 10 African countries. Each school identified two clinical training sites-one rural and the other either peri-urban or urban. Qualitative and quantitative data collection tools were used to gather information about the sites, student activities, and staff perspectives between March 2015 and February 2016. Interviews with site staff were analyzed using a collaborative directed approach to content analysis, and frequencies were generated to describe site characteristics and student experiences.The clinical sites varied in level of care but were similar in scope of clinical services and types of clinical and nonclinical student activities. Staff indicated that students have a positive effect on job satisfaction and workload. Respondents reported that students improved the work environment, institutional reputation, and introduced evidence-based approaches. Students also contributed to perceived improvements in quality of care, patient experience, and community outreach. Staff highlighted the need for resources to support students.Students were seen as valuable resources for health facilities. They strengthened health care quality by supporting overburdened staff and by bringing rigor and accountability into the work environment. As medical schools expand, especially in low-resource settings, mobilizing new and existing resources for decentralized clinical training could transform health facilities into vibrant service and learning environments.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Accumulating evidence suggests that clinician racial/gender decision-making biases in some instances contribute to health disparities. Previous work has produced evidence of such biases in medical students. OBJECTIVE:To identify contextual attributes in medical schools associated on average with low levels of racial/gender clinical decision-making biases. DESIGN:A mixed-method design using comparison case studies of 15 medical schools selected based on results of a previous survey of student decision-making bias: 7 schools whose students collectively had, and 8 schools whose students had not shown evidence of such biases. PARTICIPANTS:Purposively sampled faculty, staff, underrepresented minority medical students, and clinical-level medical students at each school. MAIN MEASURES:Quantitative descriptive data and qualitative interview and focus group data assessing 32 school attributes theorized in the literature to be associated with formation of decision-making and biases. We used a mixed-method analytic design with standard qualitative analysis and fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis. KEY RESULTS:Across the 15 schools, a total of 104 faculty, administrators and staff and 21 students participated in individual interviews, and 196 students participated in 29 focus groups. While no single attribute or group of attributes distinguished the two clusters of schools, analysis showed some contextual attributes were seen more commonly in schools whose students had not demonstrated biases: longitudinal reflective small group sessions; non-accusatory approach to training in diversity; longitudinal, integrated diversity curriculum; admissions priorities and action steps toward a diverse student body; and school service orientation to the community. CONCLUSIONS:We identified several potentially modifiable elements of the training environment that are more common in schools whose students do not show evidence of racial and gender biases.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To explore graduate-entry medical students experiences of undergraduate training in the context of academic underperformance of medical students from ethnic minority backgrounds. DESIGN:Qualitative study using semi-structured focus groups. SETTING:A West Midlands medical school. PARTICIPANTS:24 graduate-entry MBChB students were recruited using volunteer and snowball sampling; all students self-identified as being from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) backgrounds. RESULTS:BME students reported facing a range of difficulties, throughout their undergraduate medical training, that they felt impeded their learning and performance. Their relationships with staff and clinicians, though also identified as facilitators to learning, were also perceived to have hindered progress, as many students felt that a lack of BME representation and lack of understanding of cultural differences among staff impacted their experience. Students also reported a lack of trust in the institution's ability to support BME students, with many not seeking support. Students' narratives indicated that they had to mask their identity to fit in among their peers and to avoid negative stereotyping. Although rare, students faced overt racism from their peers and from patients. Many students reported feelings of isolation, reduced self-confidence and low self-esteem. CONCLUSIONS:BME students in this study reported experiencing relationship issues with other students, academic and clinical staff, lack of trust in the institution and some racist events. Although it is not clear from this small study of one institution whether these findings would be replicated in other institutions, they nevertheless highlight important issues to be considered by the institution concerned and other institutions. These findings suggest that all stakeholders of graduate-entry undergraduate medical education should reflect on the current institutional practices intended to improve student-peer and student-staff relationships. Reviewing current proposals intended to diversify student and staff populations as well as evaluating guidance on tackling racism is likely to be beneficial.
Project description:Medical educators have not reached widespread agreement on core content for a U.S. medical school curriculum. As a first step toward addressing this, five U.S. medical schools formed the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Reimagining Medical Education collaborative to define, create, implement, and freely share core content for a foundational medical school course on microbiology and immunology. This proof-of-concept project involved delivery of core content to preclinical medical students through online videos and class-time interactions between students and facilitators. A flexible, modular design allowed four of the medical schools to successfully implement the content modules in diverse curricular settings. Compared with the prior year, student satisfaction ratings after implementation were comparable or showed a statistically significant improvement. Students who took this course at a time point in their training similar to when the USMLE Step 1 reference group took Step 1 earned equivalent scores on National Board of Medical Examiners-Customized Assessment Services microbiology exam items. Exam scores for three schools ranged from 0.82 to 0.84, compared with 0.81 for the national reference group; exam scores were 0.70 at the fourth school, where students took the exam in their first quarter, two years earlier than the reference group. This project demonstrates that core content for a foundational medical school course can be defined, created, and used by multiple medical schools without compromising student satisfaction or knowledge. This project offers one approach to collaboratively defining core content and designing curricular resources for preclinical medical school education that can be shared.
Project description:Resource stewardship is being increasingly recognized as an essential competency for physicians, but medical schools are just beginning to integrate this into education. We describe the evaluation of Choosing Wisely Canada's Students and Trainees Advocating for Resource Stewardship (STARS) campaign, a student-led campaign to advance resource stewardship education in medical schools across Canada.We evaluated the campaign 6 months after its launch, in November 2015. STARS students were administered a telephone survey eliciting a description of the initiatives that they had implemented or planned to implement at their schools to promote resource stewardship, and exploring their perceptions of facilitators of and barriers to successful implementation of their initiatives. We used a mixed-methods approach to analyze and summarize the data.Twenty-seven (82%) of the 33 eligible students representing all 17 medical schools responded. In 14 schools (82%), students led various local activities (e.g., interest groups, campaign weeks) to raise awareness about resource stewardship among medical students and faculty. Students contributed to curriculum change (both planned and implemented) at 10 schools (59%). Thematic analysis revealed key program characteristics that facilitated success (e.g., pan-Canadian student network, local faculty champion) as well as barriers to implementing change (e.g., complex processes to change curriculum, hierarchical nature of medical school).This student-led campaign, with support from local faculty and Choosing Wisely Canada staff, led to awareness-building activities and early curricula change at medical schools across Canada. Future plans will build on the initial momentum created by the STARS campaign to sustain and spread local initiatives.
Project description:Introduction:Delivery Resources, Experiences, and Advocacy for Moms (DREAM) is an interprofessional service-learning program that empowers preclinical medical students by training them to provide labor support. Boston Medical Center is a safety-net hospital featuring an in-house doula service with limited coverage capacity. Consequently, many patients do not receive continuous labor support, although evidence shows that continuous labor support improves outcomes and may help reduce birth-outcome health disparities. We present a pragmatic approach to integrating preclinical students as labor-support staff and outline the methods and content of the training process as well as the evaluations used to assess program effectiveness. Methods:Students were trained by doulas (Birth Sisters) and midwives to provide prenatal, labor, and postpartum support. Students completed an orientation and training workshop and then partnered with a Birth Sister for one prenatal visit, labor, and postpartum visit prior to working independently. Student leaders provided structure, mentoring, and support for preclinical students. Pre- and postsurveys assessed student confidence and obstetric knowledge acquisition. Budget, logistics, and program evaluation process are reviewed. Results:Students demonstrated increased knowledge, as well as confidence in communication, advocacy, and support. Although balancing DREAM with academics was stressful, students continued to meet academic standards and felt their participation was gratifying and worthwhile. Student reflections and patient statements on their experience show the program was mutually beneficial. Discussion:Preclinical students need gratifying clinical opportunities to develop confidence in communication and advocacy skills. Partnering them with underserved women to provide labor support is a pragmatic and clinically valuable intervention.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal is a developing country in South Asia with a population of 29.8 million. In September 2011, there were 18 medical schools with 14 being in the private sector. KIST Medical College is a private school in Lalitpur district. The present study was conducted to obtain information on student perceptions about working in rural Nepal after graduation.<h4>Methods</h4>The study was conducted among first- and second-year undergraduate medical students using a semi-structured questionnaire developed by the authors using inputs from the literature and their experiences of teaching medical students. Year of study, gender, method of financing of medical education, place of family residence and occupation of parents were noted. Participant responses were analysed, grouped together and the number of respondents stating a particular response was noted.<h4>Results</h4>Of the 200 students, 185 (92.5%) participated with 95 being from the first year and 90 from the second. Most students were self-financing and from urban areas. Regarding the question of working in rural Nepal after graduation, 134 (72.4%) said they will work after their undergraduate course. Students preferred to work in the government or nongovernmental sector. Student felt doctors are reluctant to serve in rural Nepal due to inadequate facilities, low salary, less security, problems with their professional development, less equipment in health centres, decreased contact with family and difficulties in communicating with an illiterate, rural population. About 43% of respondents felt medical education does not adequately prepare them for rural service. Repeated rural exposure, postings in rural hospitals and health centres, and training students to diagnose and treat illness with less technology were suggested. The median monthly salary expected was 60 000 Nepalese rupees (US$ 820) and was significantly higher among first-year students.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The majority of respondents were in favour of working in rural Nepal after graduation. They wanted facilities in rural areas and health centres to be improved. Changes in the education system were suggested. Providing relatively better facilities for rural doctors compared with urban doctors and reorienting medical education for producing doctors for rural Nepal can be considered. Further studies are required in other private medical schools.
Project description:PURPOSE:In order to foster positive student experiences in the clinical learning environment, we wanted to better understand which teaching practices they regard highly. METHODS:In 2016, the authors undertook a paper 'exemplar' survey (ES) of all fifth year medical students at one tertiary teaching site. Students had experienced all assigned clinical rotations over a two year period. Following a 66% response rate, we identified two clear exemplar clinical areas (ECAs). Over 2016-7, six focus groups with multidisciplinary staff members from these clinical areas were held, with the aim to identify, discuss and understand their specific teaching practices in more detail. RESULTS:The authors present descriptions of positive student experiences and related staff practices, in five themes. Themes emerged around foundational logistic and personal factors: central to student and staff data is that 'welcome' on a daily, and ongoing basis, can be foundational to learning. Central to ECA staff data are universal practices by which all staff purposefully work to develop a functional staff-student relationship and play a part in organising/teaching students. Students and ECA staff groups both understood teacher values to be central to student learning and that cultivating a student's values is one of their major educational tasks. CONCLUSIONS:The framework formed by this thematic analysis is useful, clear and transferrable to other clinical teaching contexts. It also aligns with current thinking about best supporting student learning and cultivating student values as part of developing professionalism. Instigating such practices might help to optimise clinical teaching. We also tentatively suggest that such practices might help where resources are scarce, and perhaps also help ameliorate student bullying.
Project description:Having teaching staff with didactic qualifications in university teaching leads to a measurable improvement in academic skills among students. Previous recommendations on the type and scope of medical didactic qualification measures primarily apply to teaching staff at university and in-patient settings. The situation of primary care medicine, which often employs external lecturers and whose teaching takes place to a considerable extent in decentralized training facilities (teaching practices) is not adequately addressed. Taking into account a survey on the status quo at higher education institutions for General Practice in Germany, recommendations for minimum standards are made, based on national and international recommendations on the content and scope of medical didactic qualification measures. These recommendations include preliminary work by the Personnel and Organizational Development in Teaching (POiL) Committee of the Society for Medical Education (GMA), the MedicalTeachingNetwork (MDN), the Society of University Teaching Staff in General Medicine (GHA) as well as the experiences of the committee members, who hail from the field of general medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics amongst others.
Project description:<h4>Introduction</h4>There is recognition of the importance of comprehensive relationships and sexuality education (RSE) throughout the school years worldwide. Interventions have found some positive outcomes; however, the need for a greater focus on positive sexuality and relevant contemporary issues has been identified by teachers and students. The Curtin RSE Project provides training for teachers and preservice teachers and supports schools through training and advice to implement comprehensive school health promotion (CSHP) focusing on RSE allowing schools to develop programmes relevant to their school community. To examine contemporary phenomenon within a real word context, a case study design will be used to measure implementation. This paper will describe the protocol for a multiple, embedded case study to measure the implementation of CSHP focusing on RSE in a purposive sample of Western Australian schools.<h4>Methods and analysis</h4>This mixed methods study will include a multiple, embedded case study. Schools (n=3-4) will be purposively selected from within Western Australia based on their capacity to commit to implementing RSE as a case study school. Data will be collected from students (Grade 6 for primary school; Grades 7-12 for secondary school); teachers and other key staff and parents. Methods include school climate and school curriculum audits, documentation (collected with key staff at baseline and annually), interviews (parents and teachers at Year 2), focus groups (students at Year 2) and an online student survey (collected with students baseline and annually).<h4>Ethics and dissemination</h4>School principals will provide consent for school participation and staff and parents will provide individual consent. Student assent and parental consent will be obtained for student participants. Results will be disseminated through open-access reports, peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:As part of a national initiative to reduce child obesity, a comprehensive school-based nutrition education intervention to change eating behaviours among grade 4 primary-school students was developed, implemented and evaluated. DESIGN:The intervention was developed by school staff, with technical assistance from outside health education specialists. The programme included school facility upgrades, school teacher/staff training, curriculum changes and activities for parents. Student scores on nine key eating behaviours were assessed prior to and after the programme. The quality of programme implementation in the schools was monitored by technical assistance teams. SETTING:Shandong Province (high household income) and Qinghai Province (low household income), China. Three programme schools and three control schools in each province.ParticipantsStudents in grade 4 (age 8-9 years). RESULTS:There were significant positive changes in self-reported eating behaviour scores from pre- to post-assessment in programme schools. At post-test students in programme schools had significantly higher scores than students in control schools after controlling for other variables. The programme was more effective in the high-income province. Observations by the technical assistance teams suggested the programme was implemented more completely in Shandong. The teams noted the challenges for implementing and evaluating programmes like these. CONCLUSIONS:This intervention increased healthy eating behaviours among 4th graders in both provinces and had more effect in the more affluent province. Results suggest that a scaled-up initiative using existing school and public health resources could change eating practices in a large population over time. The intervention also provided lessons for implementing and evaluating similar nutrition programmes.