Could clinical experience during clerkship enhance students' clinical performance?

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Background: Medical students learn and practice various clinical skills during clinical clerkship. Patient encounters are important for developing clinical thinking, communication skills, and professional attitude. We investigated whether the amount of clinical experience during clerkship correlated with students' clinical competency and students' perception of effectiveness of their clerkship on it. Methods. Fourth year medical students undertook the Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE) in August 2012. Students provided the number of patients for whom they took medical histories or performed physical examinations during clerkship and provided feedback as to whether or not the clinical clerkship was helpful in preparing OSCE. The correlation between the OSCE score and number of patients was analyzed. Results: One hundred thirty students completed the questionnaire (86.6%). OSCE scores correlated with the total number of patients encountered for physical examinations (correlation coefficient, 0.274; p = 0.0105). Cumulative 3-year GPAs were positively correlated with OSCE scores (correlation coefficient, 0.330; p = 0.0001). Most (92.3%) answered that their clinical clerkship was helpful in preparing them for the OSCE; however, only 20% felt that their clinical clerkship was most helpful. Others felt that role playing (38.46%) or the guide book (33.84%) was most helpful. Conclusions: The amount of clinical experience during the students' clerkship had a small but positive relationship with students' clinical performance. Further research to elucidate the influence of clinical experience on clinical competency is needed.




Kim, J. Y., & Myung, S. J. (2014). Could clinical experience during clerkship enhance students’ clinical performance? BMC Medical Education, 14(1).

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