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Proposed learning strategies of medical students in a clinical rotation in obstetrics and gynecology: a descriptive study

Authors Deane R, Murphy D

Received 8 March 2016

Accepted for publication 2 May 2016

Published 10 August 2016 Volume 2016:7 Pages 489—496

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S108008

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder


Richard P Deane, Deirdre J Murphy

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital, Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Background:
Medical students face many challenges when learning within clinical environments. How students plan to use their time and engage with learning opportunities is therefore critical, as it may be possible to highlight strategies that optimize the learning experience at an early stage in the rotation. The aim of the study was to describe the learning drivers and proposed learning strategies of medical students for a clinical rotation in obstetrics and gynecology.
Methods: A descriptive study of personal learning plans completed by students at the start of their clinical rotation in obstetrics and gynecology was undertaken. Data relating to students’ learning strategies were obtained from the personal learning plans completed by students. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were used.
Results: The desire to obtain a good examination result was the most significant reason why the rotation was important to students (n=67/71, 94%). Students struggled to create a specific and practical learning outcome relevant to their career interest. Target scores of students were significantly higher than their reported typical scores (P<0.01). Textbooks were rated as likely to be the most helpful learning resource during the rotation. Bedside tutorials were rated as likely to be the most useful learning activity and small group learning activities were rated as likely to be more useful than lectures. Most students intended to study the course material linked to their clinical program rather than the classroom-based tutorial program.
Conclusion: The main learning driver for medical students was academic achievement, and the proposed learning strategy favored by medical students was linking their study plans to clinical activities. Medical educators should consider strategies that foster more intrinsic drivers of student learning and more student-oriented learning resources and activities.

Keywords: academic performance, clinical learning environment, learning activities, learning plan, undergraduate
 
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