The development of cancer programs and organizations in Canada is traced from their beginnings until the present time, and tribute is paid to our pioneers, of whom Dr. Richards was an outstanding example in this field. Although provinical cancer control measures vary, there is a marked similarity among some, so that they can be categorized into two or three patterns. The desirable requirements for the establishment and progressive development of cancer centres is described together with their relationship to increasing integration of teaching and research activities. An attempt is made to predict the future pattern of our "cancer clinic" system in which there will be increasing reliance on an interdisciplinary approach.
Genetic testing for a variety of diseases is becoming more available to primary care physicians, but it is unclear how useful physicians perceive these tests to be. We examined academic family physicians' perception of and experiences with clinical genetic testing and direct-to-consumer genetic testing.
This study is an analysis of a survey conducted as part of the Council of Academic Family Medicine Educational Research Alliance (CERA). Academic family physicians in the United States and Canada were queried about their perception of genetic testing's utility, how frequently patients ask about genetic testing, and the importance of genetic testing in future practice and education of students and residents.
The overall survey had a response rate of 45.1% (1,404/3,112). A majority (54.4%) of respondents felt that they were not knowledgeable about available genetic tests. Respondents perceived greater utility of genetic tests for breast cancer (94.9%) and hemochromatosis (74.9%) than for Alzheimer's disease (30.3%), heart disease (25.4%), or diabetes (25.2%). Individuals with greater self-perceived knowledge of genetic tests were more likely to feel that genetic testing would have a significant impact on their future practice (23.1%) than those with less knowledge (13.4%). Respondents had little exposure to direct-to-consumer genetic tests, but a majority felt that they were more likely to cause harm than benefit.
Academic family physicians acknowledge their lack of knowledge about genetic tests. Educational initiatives may be useful in helping them incorporate genetic testing into practice and in teaching these skills to medical students and residents.
Interprofessional competence can be defined as knowledge and understanding of their own and the other team members' professional roles, comprehension of communication and teamwork and collaboration in taking care of patients.
To evaluate whether students perceived that they had achieved interprofessional competence after participating in clinical teamwork training.
Six hundred and sixteen students from four undergraduate educational programs-medicine, nursing, physiotherapy and occupational therapy-participated in an interprofessional course at a clinical education ward. The students filled out pre and post questionnaires (96% response rate).
All student groups increased their perceived interprofessional competence. Occupational therapy and medical students had the greatest achievements. All student groups perceived improved knowledge of the other three professions' work (p = 0.000000) and assessed that the course had contributed to the understanding of the importance of communication and teamwork to patient care (effect size 1.0; p = 0.00002). The medical students had the greatest gain (p = 0.00093). All student groups perceived that the clarity of their own professional role had increased significantly (p = 0.00003). Occupational therapy students had the greatest gain (p = 0.000014).
Active patient based learning by working together in a real ward context seemed to be an effective means to increase collaborative and professional competence.
Clinical learning takes place in complex socio-cultural environments that are workplaces for the staff and learning places for the students. In the clinical context, the students learn by active participation and in interaction with the rest of the community at the workplace. Clinical learning occurs outside the university, therefore is it important for both the university and the student that the student is given opportunities to evaluate the clinical placements with an instrument that allows evaluation from many perspectives. The instrument Clinical Learning Environment and Supervision (CLES) was originally developed for evaluation of nursing students' clinical learning environment. The aim of this study was to adapt and validate the CLES instrument to measure medical students' perceptions of their learning environment in primary health care.
In the adaptation process the face validity was tested by an expert panel of primary care physicians, who were also active clinical supervisors. The adapted CLES instrument with 25 items and six background questions was sent electronically to 1,256 medical students from one university. Answers from 394 students were eligible for inclusion. Exploratory factor analysis based on principal component methods followed by oblique rotation was used to confirm the adequate number of factors in the data. Construct validity was assessed by factor analysis. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to confirm the dimensions of CLES instrument.
The construct validity showed a clearly indicated four-factor model. The cumulative variance explanation was 0.65, and the overall Cronbach's alpha was 0.95. All items loaded similarly with the dimensions in the non-adapted CLES except for one item that loaded to another dimension. The CLES instrument in its adapted form had high construct validity and high reliability and internal consistency.
CLES, in its adapted form, appears to be a valid instrument to evaluate medical students' perceptions of their clinical learning environment in primary health care.
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The personality of medical students may have an important impact on both their academic performance and emotional adjustment during medical school. There has been little systematic study of the impact of perfectionism on medical students. The present study sought to compare the perfectionism profile of medical students with that of a general arts student group and to examine the relationship among perfectionism, distress symptoms and academic expectations and satisfaction.
Medical students (n=96) and arts students (n=289) completed a baseline assessment including two multidimensional perfectionism scales. The medical students also completed measures of distress symptoms, personality (neuroticism, conscientiousness) and questions about their perceptions of their academic performance. Of the medical students, 58 completed a second set of questionnaires 6 months later (time 2).
First-, second- and third year medical students and first-year arts students.
In comparison with arts students, the perfectionism profile of medical students showed higher personal standards, lower doubts about actions and lower maladaptive perfectionism scores. In the medical students adaptive perfectionism (achievement striving) was significantly correlated with baseline academic performance expectations and conscientiousness and was predictive of dissatisfaction with academic performance at time 2. Maladaptive perfectionism (excessive evaluative concerns) was significantly correlated with baseline distress symptoms and neuroticism and was predictive of symptoms of depression and hopelessness at time 2.
Perfectionism in medical students differs systematically from perfectionism in general arts students. Distinguishing adaptive and maladaptive aspects of perfectionism is important in understanding the cross-sectional and longitudinal implications of perfectionism for medical students.
The authors conducted the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) Course for 90 students who were in their 4th year of medicine at the University of Manitoba. The impact of the course was evaluated through questionnaires completed by students, instructors and emergency-room physicians. The students' performances were also compared with those of 96 practising physicians who took the ATLS course in Manitoba. The failure rate for students (3.3%) was not statistically different from that for practising physicians (4.2%). Overall, the students' performances in the written test were better (55% of students scored over 90% on the test compared with 15% of practising physicians). The student-to-faculty ratio was 1.5:1 and included 21 physician-instructors. Ninety-five percent of the faculty and students suggested that this course should be mandatory in the 4th year curriculum of medicine and that the course improves trauma care provided by the students and interns by increasing their confidence and improving communication with specialist surgeons. However, 10% of the faculty suggested that more time should be allocated to the surgical-skills practicum. The authors' experience with this program suggests that the ATLS course should be uniformly incorporated in the Canadian undergraduate 4th year medical curriculum and that techniques used in this course should be considered in other areas of the undergraduate medical curriculum.
BACKGROUND: American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) remain underrepresented in the medical profession. This study sought to understand the supports and barriers that AI/AN students encountered on their path to successful medical school entry. METHOD: The research team analyzed qualitative semistructured, one-on-one, confidential interviews with 10 AI/AN medical students to identify salient support and barrier themes. RESULTS: Supports and barriers clustered in eight categories: educational experiences, competing career options and priorities, health care experiences, financial factors, cultural connections, family and friends, spirituality, and discrimination. Some of the most notable findings of this study include the following: (1) students reported financial barriers severe enough to constrain participation in the medical school application process, and (2) spirituality played an important role as students pursued a medical career. CONCLUSION: Promoting AI/AN participation in medical careers can be facilitated with strategies appropriate to the academic, financial, and cultural needs of AI/AN students.