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LEARNING/TEACHING
Year : 2001  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 395-404

Identifying Medical School Learning Needs: A Survey of Australian Interns


1 Senior Lecturer in Health Professional Education, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Newcastle New South Wales, Australia
2 Research Academic, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Newcastle New South Wales, Australia
3 Dean, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Newcastle New South Wales, Australia
4 Research Assistant, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Newcastle New South Wales, Australia

Correspondence Address:
I E Rolfe
Level 5, Clinical Sciences Building, Mater Hospital, Waratah, NSW 2298
Australia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


Objectives: To survey interns regarding their opinion of medical school learning needs for a range of core skills. Methods: A random sample of interns practising in New South Wales, Australia, who graduated from the state's three medical schools were surveyed two-thirds of the way through their first hospital year. They were asked whether there was a need for further medical school education for each of 226 core skills. Skills were grouped into five themes: management of clinical conditions; clinical investigations; clinical procedures; core practice; and professional development. Results: Frequency distributions weighted for age, gender and medical school background were calculated for each item. The 20 most frequently identified needs related to examinations of the eye and ear, nose and throat; managing uncooperative patients and difficult patient interactions; prescribing; writing not for resuscitation orders and death certificates. A lso included were procedural needs related to ear, nose and throat; plastering and wound management; and needs for more education in the management of clinical conditions related predominantly to "acute'' cases such as anaphylaxis and diabetic k etoacidosis. Conclusion: Interns were able to discriminate between their needs for different skills and identified many core sk ills for which they perceived there was a need for more medical school education. The implications for medical education are discussed.


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