Alternating skills training and clerkships to ease the transition from preclinical to clinical training

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    Abstract

    Background: The transition from preclinical to clinical training is perceived as stressful with a high workload being the main difficulty. To ease this transition, we implemented a dual learning year, where just-in-time skills training and clerkships alternated.

    Aims: To examine the effect of the dual learning year on students' stress and perceptions of workload and skills level, and to compare these data with a baseline measurement from a curriculum in which skills training was provided in advance of clerkships.

    Method: During the first Master year, students completed four rotations in which 5 weeks of skills training and 5-week clerkships alternated. In the second clerkship week of each rotation, students (n = 476) completed questionnaires measuring their experienced workload, perceived skills level and stress. Analysis of variance was used for trend analysis and to determine differences with the baseline measurement (n 83).

    Results: During the dual learning year, 'experienced workload' decreased (F(1,471) = 9.408, p <50.01), 'perceived skills level' increased (F(1,471) = 94.202, p <0.001) and stress decreased (F(1,471) = 3.309, p <0.10). 'Experienced workload' was lower (F(5,553) = 7.599, p <0.001) and 'perceived skills level' was comparable to the baseline measurement.

    Conclusions: Compared to the baseline measurement and the results of earlier studies on transition difficulties, alternating just-in-time skills training and clerkships seem to ease the transition from preclinical to clinical training.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)E689-E696
    Number of pages8
    JournalMedical Teacher
    Volume33
    Issue number12
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Keywords

    • MEDICAL-STUDENTS
    • HEALTH-CARE
    • STRESS
    • UNDERGRADUATE
    • EDUCATION
    • CONSEQUENCES
    • PERFORMANCE
    • KNOWLEDGE
    • PROGRAMS
    • SCHOOLS

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