Undergraduate medical student's experience in general practice

Cullen, W., Langton, D., Kelly, Y. and Bury, G. (2004) Undergraduate medical student's experience in general practice. pp. 30-33. ISSN 00211265 (ISSN)


Background. Increasingly, undergraduate medical education is becoming community-based. Logbooks are a useful tool in documenting the range of clinical exposure and learning opportunities available to students during clinical training, particularly where the role of new clinical settings for training medical students is being explored. Aims. To describe the clinical experience of medical students during an undergraduate programme in general practice at an Irish University. Methods. Medical students in the fifth year of medical school were asked to record data from 20 consecutive consultations during a clinical attachment in general practice. Results. A total of 186 students (82% of total) recorded data on 3,710 consultations. The patient population encountered was similar in demography and morbidity profile to other general practice populations, with hypertension, preventive immunisation and cough the most frequently encountered diagnostic labels. Respiratory illness and circulatory illness were the most frequently encountered primary and secondary presentations, respectively. An active role was adopted by students in almost half of all consultations. Conclusions. This paper provides evidence that general practice in Ireland is a setting in which medical students can both encounter a wide range of clinical problems and engage in active learning processes.

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