A clinical clerkship collaborative program in Taiwan: Acquiring core clinical competencies through patient care responsibility.
BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Traditionally, clinical clerkship training in Taiwan does not provide medical students with sufficient patient care responsibilities and often results in inadequate clinical skills. METHODS: We implemented a pilot clerkship program at a comprehensive cancer center that emphasizes core clinical competency through direct patient care and dedicated faculty and mentors. Students were an integral part of the patient care team held accountable for providing coordinated and holistic care. Students' self-assessment of clinical competencies, faculty evaluation, and objective structured clinical examination were compared against their peers trained by traditional clerkship at a main teaching hospital. RESULTS: Fifty medical students completed the clerkship program in the first 3 years. At the end of the clerkship, participants rated themselves significantly higher than their peers in almost all patient care and clinical skill domains. The most significant areas included physical examination, clinical reasoning, developing management plan, holistic approach, handling ethical issues, and time management skills. The students rated their clerkship teachers significantly higher in time spent with students, skills and enthusiasm in teaching, as well as giving students appropriate patient care responsibilities. There was no significant difference in the end-of-clerkship objective structured clinical examination performance, but participants of the program achieved better grades in their subsequent internship. CONCLUSION: This pilot collaborative program presented a successful model for clinical education in the teaching of core clinical competencies through direct patient care responsibilities at the clerkship stage. It is hoped that the project will become a catalyst for medical education reform in Taiwan and regions with similar traditions.
Wang, YA; Chen, C-F; Chen, C-H; Wang, G-L; Huang, AT
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