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Attitude of medical students towards Early Clinical Exposure in learning endocrine physiology

Author(s): Sathishkumar Solomon | Thomas Nihal | Tharion Elizabeth | Neelakantan Nithya | Vyas Rashmi

Journal: BMC Medical Education
ISSN 1472-6920

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 30;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Abstract Background Different teaching-learning methods have been used in teaching endocrine physiology for the medical students, so as to increase their interest and enhance their learning. This paper describes the pros and cons of the various approaches used to reinforce didactic instruction in endocrine physiology and goes on to describe the value of adding an Early Clinical Exposure program (ECE) to didactic instruction in endocrine physiology, as well as student reactions to it as an alternative approach. Discussion Various methods have been used to reinforce didactic instruction in endocrine physiology such as case-stimulated learning, problem-based learning, patient-centred learning and multiple-format sessions. We devised a teaching-learning intervention in endocrine physiology, which comprised of traditional didactic lectures, supplemented with an ECE program consisting of case based lectures and a hospital visit to see patients. A focus group discussion was conducted with the medical students and, based on the themes that emerged from it, a questionnaire was developed and administered to further enquire into the attitude of all the students towards ECE in learning endocrine physiology. The students in their feedback commented that ECE increased their interest for the subject and motivated them to read more. They also felt that ECE enhanced their understanding of endocrine physiology, enabled them to remember the subject better, contributed to their knowledge of the subject and also helped them to integrate their knowledge. Many students said that ECE increased their sensitivity toward patient problems and needs. They expressed a desire and a need for ECE to be continued in teaching endocrine physiology for future groups of students and also be extended for teaching other systems as well. The majority of the students (96.4%) in their feedback gave an overall rating of the program as good to excellent on a 5 point Likert scale. Summary The ECE program was introduced as an alternative approach to reinforce didactic instruction in endocrine physiology for the first year medical students. The study demonstrated that students clearly enjoyed the experience and perceived that it was valuable. This method could potentially be used for other basic science topics as well.
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