Publication: Strained doctors as facilitators in the medical curriculum - experiences of an Early Professional Contact Course in the undergraduate medical education

Strained doctors as facilitators in the medical curriculum - experiences of an Early Professional Contact Course in the undergraduate medical education.
von Below B, Hellquist G, Rödjer S, Gunnarsson R, Björkelund C, Wahlqvist M.
Basel: 15th Wonca Europe Conference; 2009.

Abstract

Aims and purpose Today, medical students are introduced early to patient contact in the clinical context. General Practitioners are frequently engaged as facilitators. These courses are often evaluated from the student perspective but reports from the facilitator perspective are scarce. In 2001, a new “Early Professional Contact” course through term 1-4 was introduced at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, with General Practitioners and hospital specialists as facilitators. The aim of this study was to assess analyse and compare clinical facilitators’ and students’ experiences of this new course and to illuminate facilitators’ working conditions. Design and Methods A questionnaire with 28 items was constructed. In 2003, on the completion of the first course, a student and a facilitator version was distributed to the attending 86 students and 21 facilitators. In the analysis, Chi-square and the Mann-Whitney tests were used. Results Fifteen facilitators (71%) and 60 students (70%) completed the questionnaire. Both facilitators and students were satisfied with the course. However, differences in attitudes were found. Facilitators experienced a greater workload (p<0.0001), less reasonable demands (p=0.017) and less encouragement (p=0.016), than students. Students reported gaining inspiration for their future work as doctors. Conclusions In this study of a new Early Professional Contact course, both students’ and facilitators’ experiences were analysed. Despite thorough preparatory education, clinical facilitators - the doctors - often experienced a heavy workload and lack of support opposed to the students. The students reported a reasonable workload and were satisfied with the course. A possible conflict between the doctor’s task as educator and clinician is suggested. More research is needed on how physicians combine their clinical work with work as facilitators.


, from James Cook University
http://au.researchweb.org/is/jcu/user/publication?ref=549821