What do medical students learn when they follow patients from hospital to community? A longitudinal qualitative study.
CONTEXT: Although longitudinal community-based care of patients provides opportunities for teaching patient centredness and chronic disease management, there is a paucity of literature assessing learning outcomes of these clerkships. This study examines learning outcomes among students participating in longitudinal community based follow-up of patients discharged from the hospital. METHODS: The authors conducted a thematic analysis of 253 student narratives written by 44 third-year medical students reflecting on their longitudinal interactions with patients with chronic medical illnesses. The narratives were written over three periods: after acute hospital encounter, after a home visit and at the end of the 10-month follow-up. Analysis involved coding of theme content and counting of aggregate themes. RESULTS: The most frequent theme was 'chronic disease management' (25%) followed by 'patient-centred care' (22%), 'health care systems' (20.9%), 'biomedical issues' (19.7%), 'community services' (9.5%) and 'student's role conflict' (2.3%). There was a shift in the relative frequency of the different themes, as students moved from hospital to community with their patients. Biomedical (44.3%) and health systems (18.2%) were the dominant themes following the acute hospitalization encounter. Chronic disease management (35.1%) and patient centredness (31.8%) were the dominant themes after the 10-month longitudinal follow-up. CONCLUSION: Longitudinal community-based interaction with patients resulted in learning about chronic disease management, patient centredness and health care systems over time. Students shifted from learning biomedical knowledge during the acute hospitalization, to focus on better understanding of long-term care and patient centredness, at the end of the module.
Puvanendran, R; Vasanwala, FF; Kamei, RK; Hock, LK; Lie, DA
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