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Health-profession students’ teaching and learning expectations in Ugandan medical schools: pre- and postcommunity placement comparison

Authors Wakida E, Ruzaaza G, Muggaga K, Akera P, Oria H, Kiguli S

Received 2 July 2015

Accepted for publication 12 October 2015

Published 8 December 2015 Volume 2015:6 Pages 641—656

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S91624

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 6

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder


Video abstract presented by Wakida et al.

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Edith K Wakida,1 Gad Ruzaaza,1 Kintu Muggaga,2 Peter Akera,3 Hussein Oria,4 Sarah Kiguli4

1Medical School, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Mbarara, 2Medical School, Kampala International University, Kampala, 3Medical School, Gulu University, Gulu, 4Medical School, Makerere University Kampala, Kampala, Uganda

Purpose: The benefits of community-based medical education for both students and teachers are becoming increasingly clear. However, there is paucity of information about the importance of incorporating students’ thoughts in the community-based education curriculum and the impact it has on their intentions to work in rural communities. The purpose of this study was to assess the teaching and learning expectations before and after placement of health-profession students going for community placement for the first time and make suggestions for improvement of the community-based programs.
Methods: The study was a cross-sectional survey with both structured and unstructured questions. Participants were recruited from four medical schools in Uganda targeting 100% participation of health-profession students going for community placement in 2014. In total, 454 and 305 participants responded to self-administered questionnaires before and after community placement, respectively; and they were from different programs and years of study.
Results: Students’ learning expectations before placement, in ranking were: community engagement, interpersonal skills, community diagnosis, clinical skills, lifestyle practices, and patient management. After placement, the order of ranking was: interpersonal skills, community engagement, community diagnosis, lifestyle practices, clinical skills, and patient management. Most of the students had prior rural exposure and expected to do community engagement. However, after community placement they indicated having developed interpersonal skills. The various health-profession students were able to harmoniously work together to achieve a common purpose, which they find difficult to do in a classroom environment.
Conclusion: Having student teams comprised of different health programs and years of study going for community placement together promoted peer-to-peer mentorship and enhanced team building during community placement.

Keywords: Minimum competencies, MESAU, community based education and Uganda, community-based education

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