Medical Students, Undergraduate Education, Training and Internship
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Introduction: University faculties and departments are undergoing fundamental organisational and curricular restructuring. Undergraduate medical students commonly focus study practices towards the final medical examination rather than preparation for a clinical career. A disparity currently exists between theoretical knowledge and practical application, which is apparent at the start of the internship.
Aims: The aims of this study were to identify what aspects of the curriculum could be improved in preparing medical students for clinical work and to assess if an increased emphasis on clinical and technical aspects of education such as shadowing and training in practical procedures would be appropriate.
Methods: Comprehensive questionnaires were circulated to the intern class and the final medical class of 2006/07 in NUI Galway. Methods of teaching and emphasis on clinical aspects of training were among the topics students’ perspectives were sought on. Attitudes to important aspects of the curriculum were compared.
Results: 40 interns and 74 final year medical students completed the questionnaire. While 74% of students thought emphasis on clinical attachments was appropriate in preparation for practice, 77% of interns thought it too little (p