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 under-representation in medical education of students from lower socio-economic backgrounds is an important social issue. There is currently little evidence about whether changes in admission strategies might increase the diversity of the medical student population. Denmark introduced an 'attribute-based' admission track to make it easier for students who may not be eligible for admission on the 'grade-based' track to be admitted on the basis of attributes other than academic performance. The aim of this research was to examine whether there were significant differences in the social composition of student cohorts admitted via each of the two tracks during the years 2002-2007.
This prospective cohort study included 1074 medical students admitted during 2002-2007 to the University of Southern Denmark medical school. Of these, 454 were admitted by grade-based selection and 620 were selected on attributes other than grades. To explore the social mix of candidates admitted on each of the two tracks, respectively, we obtained information on social indices associated with educational attainment in Denmark (ethnic origin, father's education, mother's education, parenthood, parents living together, parent in receipt of social benefits).
Selection strategy (grade-based or attribute-based) had no statistically significant effect on the social diversity of the medical student population.
The choice of admission criteria may not be very important to widening access and increasing social diversity in medical schools. Attracting a sufficiently diverse applicant pool may represent a better strategy for increasing diversity in the student population.
Comment In: Med Educ. 2013 Jun;47(6):542-423662869
During the spring of 1995, 734 medical students at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm were randomly selected for inclusion in a postal questionnaire study of alcohol and drug habits. The response rate was over 80 per cent. Although both the level of alcohol consumption and the prevalence of hazardous consumption were lower than the corresponding figures for students at Stockholm and Uppsala Universities, 12 per cent of the male and four per cent of the female medical students were considered to be at risk of alcohol problems. About seven per cent of the medical students reported having used illegal drugs such as hashish, marijuana and cocaine during the past 12-month period, and about nine per cent to have used sedative and/or hypnotic drugs.