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  Citation statistics : Table of Contents
   2017| January-April  | Volume 30 | Issue 1  
    Online since July 13, 2017

 
 
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GENERAL ARTICLES
Assessing reading levels of health information: uses and limitations of flesch formula
Pranay Jindal, Joy C MacDermid
January-April 2017, 30(1):84-88
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.210517  PMID:28707643
Background: Written health information is commonly used by health-care professionals (HCPs) to inform and assess patients in clinical practice. With growing self-management of many health conditions and increased information seeking behavior among patients, there is a greater stress on HCPs and researchers to develop and implement readable and understandable health information. Readability formulas such as Flesch Reading Ease (FRE) and Flesch–Kincaid Reading Grade Level (FKRGL) are commonly used by researchers and HCPs to assess if health information is reading grade appropriate for patients. Purpose: In this article, we critically analyze the role and credibility of Flesch formula in assessing the reading level of written health information. Discussion: FRE and FKRGL assign a grade level by measuring semantic and syntactic difficulty. They serve as a simple tool that provides some information about the potential literacy difficulty of written health information. However, health information documents often involve complex medical words and may incorporate pictures and tables to improve the legibility. In their assessments, FRE and FKRGL do not take into account (1) document factors (layout, pictures and charts, color, font, spacing, legibility, and grammar), (2) person factors (education level, comprehension, health literacy, motivation, prior knowledge, information needs, anxiety levels), and (3) style of writing (cultural sensitivity, comprehensiveness, and appropriateness), and thus, inadequately assess reading level. New readability measures incorporate pictures and use complex algorithms to assess reading level but are only moderately used in health-care research and not in clinical practice. Future research needs to develop generic and disease-specific readability measures to evaluate comprehension of a written document based on individuals' literacy levels, cultural background, and knowledge of disease.
  5 2,808 321
ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLES
Mobile learning app: A novel method to teach clinical decision making in prosthodontics
Saee Deshpande, Jaishree Chahande, Akhil Rathi
January-April 2017, 30(1):31-34
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.210514  PMID:28707634
Background: Prosthodontics involves replacing lost dentofacial structures using artificial substitutes. Due to availability of many materials and techniques, clinician's clinical decision-making regarding appropriate selection of prosthesis requires critical thinking abilities and is demanding. Especially during graduate training years, learners do not receive the exposure to a variety of cases, thus their clinical reasoning skills are not developed optimally. Therefore, using the trend of incorporating technology in education, we developed a mobile learning app for this purpose. The aim of this study was to evaluate learners' perceptions of this app's utility and impact on their clinical decision-making skills. Methods: After taking informed consent, interns of the Department of Prosthodontics of VSPM Dental College, Nagpur, India, during the academic year May 2015–May 2016 were sent the link for the app to be installed in their Android smartphones. Their perceptions were recorded on a feedback questionnaire using 5-point Likert scale. The script concordance test (SCT) was used to check for changes in clinical reasoning abilities. Results: Out of 120 students who were sent the link, 102 downloaded the link and 92 completed the feedback questionnaire and appeared for the SCT (response rate: 76%). The overall response to the app was positive for more than two-thirds of interns, who reported a greater confidence in their clinical decision-making around prostheses through this app and 94% of the students felt that this app should be regularly used along with conventional teaching techniques. Mean SCT scores were pretest 41.5 (±1.7) and posttest 63 (±2.4) (P < 0.005). Discussion: Clinical decision-making in prosthodontics, a mobile learning app, is an effective way to improve clinical reasoning skills for planning prosthodontic rehabilitation. It is well received by students.
  4 1,752 359
Patients' perceptions of argentine physicians' empathy based on the jefferson scale of patient's perceptions of physician empathy: Psychometric data and demographic differences
Raúl A Borracci, Hernán C Doval, Leonardo Celano, Alejandro Ciancio, Diego Manente, José G. E Calderón
January-April 2017, 30(1):19-25
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.210513  PMID:28707632
Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the validity of a modified Spanish version of the Jefferson Scale of Patient's Perceptions of Physician Empathy (JSPPPE) in Argentine patients and to explore how local demographic characteristics influence patients' perceptions of their physicians' empathy. Methods: A survey was conducted in March 2013 among 400 Spanish-speaking outpatients attending three different public or private hospitals of Buenos Aires. A principal component analysis (PCA) was used to identify the JSPPPE factor structure, and a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was employed to evaluate its construct validity. Demographic variables including age, gender, geographic origin, education, health coverage, regular physician-established and patient-perceived health status were used to find what factors may influence empathy rating. Results: The PCA yielded a one-factor model that accounted for 77.5% of the variance, and an adequate model fit was observed with CFA indices. Male and elderly patients, South American descendants, less educated people, and public hospital attendants were associated with a higher JSPPPE score. Patients perceived a lower interest of physicians in their daily problems and a poorer capacity “to stand in their shoes.” Discussion: The JSPPPE provides a valid score to measure patients' perceptions of physician empathy in Argentina. These findings afford insight into Argentine patients' awareness of their doctors' empathic concern; however, JSPPPE scores may be alternatively interpreted in terms of patients' satisfaction or likeability.
  4 2,061 307
Using a personality inventory to identify risk of distress and burnout among early stage medical students
Stephanie A Bughi, Desiree A Lie, Stephanie K Zia, Jane Rosenthal
January-April 2017, 30(1):26-30
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.210499  PMID:28707633
Background: Distress and burnout are common among medical students and negatively impact students' physical, mental, and emotional health. Personality inventories such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), used in medical education, may have a role in identifying burnout risk early. Methods: The authors conducted a cross-sectional survey study among 185 1st year medical students with the MBTI, the general well-being schedule (GWB), and Maslach Burnout Inventory-Student Survey (MBI-SS). Descriptive statistics and one-way MANOVAs were used to identify the prevalence and differences in MBTI preferences and distress/burnout risk. Results: Response rate was 185/185 (100%). Distress (GWB) was reported by 84/185 (45.4%). High scores on exhaustion were reported by 118/182 (64.8%), cynicism by 76/182 (41.8%), and decreased professional efficacy by 38/182 (20.9%) for the three dimensions of the MBI-SS. Only 21/182 (11.5%) of respondents had high scores on all three dimensions of burnout. Students with MBTI preferences for extraversion reported greater positive well-being (P < 0.05), self-control (P < 0.05), professional efficacy (P < 0.01), and lower levels of depression (P < 0.01) compared with those with introversion preference. Discussion: Distress and burnout are prevalent early in medical training. The significant difference between extraversion and introversion in relation to distress and burnout deserves further study. Use of a personality inventory may help identify students at risk of burnout and allow appropriate early stress management.
  4 3,068 755
BRIEF COMMUNICATIONS
Comparing the academic performance of graduate-entry and undergraduate medical students at a UK medical school
James Knight, Anthony P Stead, Thomas Oliver Geyton
January-April 2017, 30(1):75-78
DOI:10.4103/efh.EfH_157_15  PMID:28707641
Background: The aim of the study was to assess whether graduate-entry (GE) medicine is a valid route to medical school in the United Kingdom. We set out to analyze the academic performance of GE students when compared with undergraduate (UG) students by assessing the representation of high achievers and students with fail grades within the two cohorts. Methods: Using the Freedom of Information Act, we requested examination result data for the academic year 2013–2014 at St. George's Medical School, London, UK. We analyzed the number of students gaining distinction (top 7.5%) and those in the first two deciles. Results: There were 389 GE and 548 UG students in the clinical years. A total of 61.3% of the first or second decile places were awarded to GEs, with 38.7% going to UGs (P < 0.0005). The proportion of GEs achieving the first or second decile was 30.1% compared to 12.8% of UGs (P < 0.01). The proportion of GEs awarded distinction was 12.3% compared to 2.9% of UGs (P < 0.02). The total number of students failing a year at the first attempt was 103. The failure rate within each group was 12.1% for GE and 10.2% for UG. Discussion: Our study found that GE students were overrepresented in the high-achieving groups when compared to UG students. GE students were significantly more likely to be placed in the first or second decile or attain a distinction award. However, GE and UG have a similar failure rate. This study shows that GE programs are a valid entry route to medical courses in the UK.
  1 1,276 143
Teaching procedural skills to medical students: A pilot procedural skills lab
Laurence M Katz, Alexander Finch, Tyler McKinnish, Kurt Gilliland, Sue Tolleson-Rinehart, Bonita L Marks
January-April 2017, 30(1):79-83
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.210516  PMID:28707642
Background: Medical students have limited confidence in performing procedural skills. A pilot study was conducted to evaluate the effect of a multifaceted Procedural Skills Lab (PSL) on the confidence of medical students to perform procedural skills. Methods: Twelve 2nd year medical students were randomly selected to participate in a pilot PSL. The PSL students met with an instructor for 2 h once a week for 4 weeks. Students participated in a flipped classroom and spaced education program before laboratory sessions that included a cadaver laboratory. Procedural skills included a focused assessment with sonography in trauma (FAST) scan, cardiac echocardiogram, lumbar puncture, arthrocentesis, and insertion of intraosseous and intravenous catheters. Students in the PSL were asked to rank their confidence in performing procedural skills before and after completion of the laboratory sessions (Wilcoxon ranked-sum test). A web-based questionnaire was also emailed to all 2nd year medical students to establish a baseline frequency for observing, performing, and confidence performing procedural skills (Mann–Whitney U-test). Results: Fifty-nine percent (n = 106) of 180 2nd year medical students (n = 12 PSL students [treatment group], n = 94 [control group]) completed the survey. Frequency of observation, performance, and confidence in performing procedural skills was similar between the control and treatment groups at baseline. There was an increased confidence level (p < 0.001) for performing all procedural skills for the treatment group after completion of the PSL. Discussion: An innovative PSL may increase students' confidence to perform procedural skills. Future studies will examine competency after a PSL.
  1 1,669 332
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Pilot evaluation of medical student perception of a novel pharmacology-based role-play game: Braincept
Sarah Aynsley, Russell Crawford
January-April 2017, 30(1):97-98
DOI:10.4103/efh.EfH_278_15  PMID:28707647
  1 979 122
ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLES
Medical ethics education in China: Lessons from three schools
Renslow Sherer, Hongmei Dong, Yali Cong, Jing Wan, Hua Chen, Yanxia Wang, Zhiying Ma, Brian Cooper, Ivy Jiang, Hannah Roth, Mark Siegler
January-April 2017, 30(1):35-43
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.210501  PMID:28707635
Background: Ethics teaching is a relatively new area of medical education in China, with ethics curricula at different levels of development. This study examined ethics education at three medical schools in China to understand their curricular content, teaching and learning methods, forms of assessments, changes over time, and what changes are needed for further improvement. Methods: We used student and faculty surveys to obtain information about the ethics courses' content, teaching methods, and revisions over time. The surveys also included five realistic cases and asked participants whether each would be appropriate to use for discussion in ethics courses. Students rated the cases on a scale and gave written comments. Finally, participants were asked to indicate how much they would agree with the statement that medical professionalism is about putting the interests of patients and society above one's own. Results: There were both similarities and differences among these schools with regard to course topics, teaching and assessment methods, and course faculty compositions, suggesting their courses are at different levels of development. Areas of improvement for the schools' courses were identified based on this study's findings and available literature. A model of the evolution of medical ethics education in China was proposed to guide reform in medical ethics instruction in China. Analysis identified characteristics of appropriate cases and participants' attitudes toward the ideal of professionalism. Discussion: We conclude that the development of medical ethics education in China is promising while much improvement is needed. In addition, ethics education is not confined to the walls of medical schools; the society at large can have significant influence on the formation of students' professional values.
  1 1,831 307
Implementation and sex-specific analysis of students' attitudes toward a longitudinal, gender-specific medical curriculum – a pilot study
Anja Böckers, Claudia Grab, Christiane Waller, Ulrike Schulze, Susanne Gerhardt-Szep, Benjamin Mayer, Tobias Maria Böckers, Wolfgang Öchsner
January-April 2017, 30(1):50-59
DOI:10.4103/efh.EfH_338_15  PMID:28707637
Background: Gender medicine has gained importance over the past 20 years. Nevertheless, the scientific findings concerning gender- and sex-specific patient care have not been sufficiently integrated into the education of physicians. It was therefore our aim, against initial resistance in our school, to integrate clinically relevant aspects of gender medicine into the existing medical curriculum. This paper describes the implementation process of a lecture-based interdisciplinary, longitudinal, basic gender curriculum and evaluates students' attitudes in relation to sex and semester level. Methods: The curriculum encompasses 15 lecture sessions scheduled in years 1 through 5 of the medical curriculum at Ulm University, Germany. Prospectively gathered evaluation data of two cross-sectional analyses of this basic curriculum in the first and fifth semesters are analyzed by sex. Results: More than 80% of the students have registered for this new curriculum. Evaluation data show a predominantly positive (75.5%) student response; however, only about half of those surveyed indicated that they had learned new material or judged the content on gender to be relevant to their practice of medicine. Students at a more advanced semester level (88.2% vs. 55.2%) and male participants more than female participants (36.7% vs. 62.4%) showed lower acceptance. Discussion: It was possible to integrate gender issues into the existing medical student curriculum. Despite the overall positive rating, our evaluation data identified the aspects of rejection and resistance in some students, particularly male and more advanced students. Further studies on the development of student attitudes toward gender issues are needed.
  1 2 0
Mimicking rashes: Use of moulage technique in undergraduate assessment at the aga khan university, Karachi
Saniya Raghib Sabzwari, Azam Afzal, Kashmira Nanji
January-April 2017, 30(1):60-63
DOI:10.4103/efh.EfH_38_16  PMID:28707638
Background: The use of simulated patients in student assessment is supported by the Best Evidence Medical Education and U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and it provides a safe and effective alternative to real patients in many situations. To assess the validity and feasibility of moulage technique–where a cosmetically constructed rash is used on simulated patients–two dermatologic rashes were developed using moulage simulation on standardized patients at Aga Khan University Hospital for 3rd year medical summative Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). Methods: Checklists for cases that focused on history taking of a skin rash were developed. These also included a description and identification of lesions, differential diagnosis, and basic management. Cases were first reviewed and approved by the Educational Committee and a dermatologist content expert. Stations were piloted to assess validity and feasibility. Simple nontoxic materials were used to develop the rash by faculty familiar with moulage simulation. Results: Sixty-four students were assessed on a Herpes Zoster case and 32 students on a Herpes Simplex case in morning and afternoon sessions. The total mean score obtained at all OSCE stations was 64.82 ± 10.22. Mean scores on the morning and afternoon dermatology stations were 62.72 ± 9.74 and 69.03 ± 9.98, respectively. Face validity for both stations was established through input of content experts. The internal reliability as measured by Cronbach's alpha between the checklist items on the morning and afternoon stations was acceptable at 0.60 (20 items) and 0.65 (18 items), respectively. Discussion: The use of moulage technique to develop dermatologic lesions on simulated patients may be utilized for student assessment.
  1 1,874 133
Life in unexpected places: Employing visual thinking strategies in global health training
Jill Allison, Shree Mulay, Monica Kidd
January-April 2017, 30(1):64-67
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.210511  PMID:28707639
Background: The desire to make meaning out of images, metaphor, and other representations indicates higher-order cognitive skills that can be difficult to teach, especially in the complex and unfamiliar environments like those encountered in many global health experiences. Because reflecting on art can help develop medical students' imaginative and interpretive skills, we used visual thinking strategies (VTS) during an immersive 4-week global health elective for medical students to help them construct new understanding of the social determinants of health in a low-resource setting. We were aware of no previous formal efforts to use art in global health training. Methods: We assembled a group of eight medical students in front of a street mural in Kathmandu and used VTS methods to interpret the scene with respect to the social determinants of health. We recorded and transcribed the conversation and conducted a thematic analysis of student responses. Results: Students shared observations about the mural in a supportive, nonjudgmental fashion. Two main themes emerged from their observations: those of human-environment interactions (specifically community dynamics, subsistence land use, resources, and health) and entrapment/control, particularly relating to expectations of, and demands on, women in traditional farming communities. They used the images as well as their experience in Nepali communities to consolidate complex community health concepts. Discussion: VTS helped students articulate their deepening understanding of the social determinants of health in Nepal, suggesting that reflection on visual art can help learners apply, analyze, and evaluate complex concepts in global health. We demonstrate the relevance of drawing upon many aspects of cultural learning, regarding art as a kind of text that holds valuable information. These findings may help provide innovative opportunities for teaching and evaluating global health training in the future.
  1 1,602 188
What do faculty feel about teaching in this school? assessment of medical education environment by teachers
Syed Ilyas Shehnaz, Mohamed Arifulla, Jayadevan Sreedharan, Kadayam Guruswami Gomathi
January-April 2017, 30(1):68-74
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.210500  PMID:28707640
Background: Faculty members are major stakeholders in curriculum delivery, and positive student learning outcomes can only be expected in an educational environment (EE) conducive to learning. EE experienced by teachers includes all conditions affecting teaching and learning activities. As the EE of teachers indirectly influences the EE of students, assessment of teachers' perceptions of EE can highlight issues affecting student learning. These perceptions can also serve as a valuable tool for identifying faculty development needs. In this study, we have used the Assessment of Medical Education Environment by Teachers (AMEET) inventory as a tool to assess medical teachers' perceptions of the EE. Methods: The AMEET inventory was used to assess perceptions regarding various domains of EE by teachers teaching undergraduate students at the College of Medicine, Gulf Medical University, Ajman, United Arab Emirates. Median total, domain, and individual statement scores were compared between groups using Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Results: Teaching–learning activities, learning atmosphere, collaborative atmosphere, and professional self-perceptions were identified as strengths of the EE while time allocated for various teaching–learning activities, preparedness of students, levels of student stress, learning atmosphere in hospital, and support system for stressed faculty members were areas necessitating improvement. The scores of faculty members teaching in basic medical sciences were found to be significantly higher than those in clinical sciences. Discussion: The EE of this medical college was generally perceived as being positive by faculty although a few areas of concern were highlighted. Strengths and weaknesses of the EE from the teachers' point of view provide important feedback to curriculum planners, which can be used to improve the working environment of the faculty as well as facilitate a better direction and focus to faculty development programs being planned for the future.
  1 1,714 261
CO-EDITORS NOTES
Co-Editors' notes 30:1
Michael Glasser, Danette Mckinley, Maaike Flinkenflogel
January-April 2017, 30(1):1-2
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.210504  PMID:28707629
  - 1,225 236
GENERAL ARTICLES
Going the extra mile: Lessons learned from running coaches applied to medicine
Ryan Graddy, Scott Wright
January-April 2017, 30(1):89-92
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.210498  PMID:28707644
Master clinicians and successful long-distance runners have a lot in common. Both are dedicated to continuous improvement and are flexible in their approach, allowing for adaptation to meet unplanned challenges. Given these similarities and the important role of coaches in athletics, there is an opportunity for medical educators to learn from excellent running coaching. The authors spent time with three respected running coaches at different levels (high school, college, and postcollegiate online) and identified six principles employed by these coaches that seem to be particularly relevant for promoting skill development in medicine. Three of these may be considered foundational tenets for a successful coach: know your coachee; model the qualities you seek to instill; and communicate clearly and consistently. An additional three principles represent higher order coaching skills that enable superior coaches to develop others into truly outstanding performers: be a keen observer; purposefully build strong and interconnected teams; and inspire greatness. Longitudinal, individualized coaching predicated on these six tenets may be an effective means for optimizing professional development in medicine.
  - 1,268 156
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Students for students: The polish initiative for enhancing medical research knowledge
Przemyslaw M Waszak
January-April 2017, 30(1):93-94
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.210505  PMID:28707645
  - 979 91
Massively open online courses and ophthalmology training
Kleonikos A Tsakiris
January-April 2017, 30(1):95-96
DOI:10.4103/efh.EfH_334_15  PMID:28707646
  - 1,032 80
Collaboration between a medical school and the provincial government health system in effective implementation of a problem-based curriculum: An experience from Saudi Arabia
Hatim Sid Ahmed, Mohammed K Alabdulaali, Hatem Othman Qutub, Feroze Kaliyadan, Abdulmohsen N Almulhim, Waleed Hamad Albuali, Fahad Al Gharib, Fatma Huzam Al Otaibi
January-April 2017, 30(1):99-100
DOI:10.4103/efh.EfH_154_16  PMID:28707648
  - 938 89
ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLES
Implementation and evaluation of a patient safety course in a problem-based learning program
Sarah Ahmed Eltony, Nahla Hassan El-Sayed, Shimaa El-Sayed El-Araby, Salah Eldin Kassab
January-April 2017, 30(1):44-49
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.210512  PMID:28707636
Background: Since the development of the WHO patient safety curriculum guide, there has been insufficient reporting regarding the implementation and evaluation of patient safety courses in undergraduate problem-based learning (PBL) programs. This study is designed to implement a patient safety course to undergraduate students in a PBL medical school and evaluate this course by examining its effects on students' knowledge and satisfaction. Methods: The target population included year 6 medical students (n = 71) at the Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University in Egypt. A 3-day course was conducted addressing three principal topics from the WHO patient safety curriculum guide. The methods of instruction included reflection on students' past experiences, PBL case discussions, and tasks with incident report cards. A pre- and post-test design was used to assess the effect of the course on students' knowledge of inpatient safety topics. Furthermore, students' perceptions of the quality of the course were assessed through a structured self-administered course evaluation questionnaire. Results: The results of the pre- and post-test demonstrated a significant increase (P < 0.05) in the students' mean multiple choice question (MCQ) scores. The MCQ scores for “what is patient safety” topic increased by 50% (P < 0.01). Similarly, the MCQ scores for the “infection control” topic increased by 39% (P < 0.01), and scores for the “medication safety” topic increased by 45% (P < 0.01). The majority of students perceived the different aspects of the course positively, including the structure and introduction of the course (75%) and the communication skills (83.2%) and teamwork skills they had developed (94.4%). The findings of the incident report cards indicated that 46.7% of the students perceived that incidents most commonly take place in the emergency room while only 6.7% in the outpatient clinic. Discussion: This patient safety education program within a PBL curriculum is positively perceived by students. Furthermore, patient safety education in clinical settings should focus on emergencies, where students perceive most errors.
  - 1,672 371
“In our own words”: Defining medical professionalism from a Latin American perspective
Klaus Puschel, Paula Repetto, Margarita Bernales, Jorge Barros, Ivan Perez, Linda Snell
January-April 2017, 30(1):11-18
DOI:10.4103/efh.EfH_4_16  PMID:28707631
Background: Latin America has experienced a tremendous growth in a number of medical schools, and there are concerns about their quality of training in critical areas such as professionalism. Medical professionalism is a cultural construct. The aim of the study was to compare published definitions of medical professionalism from Latin American and non-Latin American regions and to design an original and culturally sound definition. Methods: A mixed methods approach was used with three phases. First, a systematic search and thematic analysis of the literature were conducted. Second, a Delphi methodology was used to design a local definition of medical professionalism. Third, we used a qualitative approach that combined focus groups and personal interviews with students and deans from four medical schools in Chile to understand various aspects of professionalism education. The data were analyzed using NVivo software. Results: A total of 115 nonrepeated articles were identified in the three databases searched. No original definitions of medical professionalism from Latin America were found. Twenty-six articles met at least one of the three decisional criteria defined and were fully reviewed. Three theoretical perspectives were identified: contractualism, personalism, and deontology. Attributes of medical professionalism were classified in five dimensions: personal, interpersonal, societal, formative, and practical. Participants of the Delphi panel, focus groups, and personal interviews included 36 medical students, 12 faculties, and four deans. They took a personalistic approach to design an original definition of medical professionalism and highlighted the relevance of respecting life, human dignity, and the virtue of prudence in medical practice. Students and scholars differed on the value given to empathy and compassion. Discussion: This study provides an original and culturally sound definition of medical professionalism that could be useful in Latin American medical schools. The methodology used in the study could be applied in other regions as a basis to develop culturally appropriate definitions of medical professionalism.
  - 2,586 362
How innovative and conventional curricula prepare medical students for practice in Sub-Saharan Africa: A comparative study from Mozambique
Janneke M Frambach, Beatriz A. F Manuel, Afonso M. T Fumo, Bernard Groosjohan, Cees P. M Van Der Vleuten, Erik W Driessen
January-April 2017, 30(1):3-10
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.210515  PMID:28707630
Background: Medical education in Sub-Saharan Africa is in need of reform to promote the number and quality of physicians trained. Curriculum change and innovation in this region, however, face a challenging context that may affect curriculum outcomes. Research on outcomes of curriculum innovation in Sub-Saharan Africa is scarce. We investigated curriculum outcomes in a Sub-Saharan African context by comparing students' perceived preparedness for practice within three curricula in Mozambique: a conventional curriculum and two innovative curricula. Both innovative curricula used problem-based learning and community-based education. Methods: We conducted a comparative mixed methods study. We adapted a validated questionnaire on perceived professional competencies and administered it to 5th year students of the three curricula (n = 140). We conducted semi-structured interviews with 5th year students from these curricula (n = 12). Additional contextual information was collected. Statistical and thematic analyses were conducted. Results: Perceived preparedness for practice of students from the conventional curriculum was significantly lower than for students from one innovative curriculum, but significantly higher than for students from the other innovative curriculum. Major human and material resource issues and disorganization impeded the latter's sense of preparedness. Both innovative curricula, however, stimulated a more holistic approach among students toward patients, as well an inquiring and independent attitude, which is valuable preparation for Sub-Saharan African healthcare. Discussion: In Sub-Saharan Africa, risks and benefits of curriculum innovation are high. Positive outcomes add value to local healthcare in terms of doctors' meaningful preparedness for practice, but instead outcomes can be negative due to the implementation challenges sometimes found in Sub-Saharan African contexts. Before embarking on innovative curriculum reform, medical schools need to assess their capability and motivation for innovation.
  - 2,053 367
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