Educating patient-centered, systems-aware physicians: A qualitative analysis of medical student perceptions of value-added clinical systems learning roles

BMC Med Educ

Background: Medical schools have a critical need to develop roles for students that are "value-added," defined as "...experiential roles that can positively impact health outcomes while also enhancing student knowledge, attitudes, and skills in Clinical or Health Systems Science." Following implementation of value-added clinical systems learning roles for all first-year students, authors investigated student perceptions of the educational value from these patient-centered experiences.

Methods: Between 2014 and 16, authors collected logs from students following their working with patients; authors also performed six, 1:1 student interviews, which were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Authors used thematic analysis to explore students' perceptions of the experience and educational benefits from these roles. Authors identified themes, and agreed upon results and quotations.

Results: A total of 792 logs from 363 patients and six interviews were completed and analyzed. Students reported six educational benefits of performing value-added clinical systems learning roles in the health system, including enhanced understanding of and appreciation for a patient's perspective on health care and his/her health, barriers and social determinants of health, health care systems and delivery, interprofessional collaboration and teamwork, clinical medicine, and approach to communicating with patients.

Conclusions: Students' reported educational benefits from value-added clinical systems learning roles span several learning areas that align with clinical and Health Systems Science, i.e. the needs of future physicians. These roles have the potential to shift learning from the physician-centric identity to one more fully aligned with patient-centered, team-based providers, while also potentially improving health today.

Gonzalo JD, Wolpaw D, Graaf D, Thompson BM. Educating patient-centered, systems-aware physicians: A qualitative analysis of medical student perceptions of value-added clinical systems learning roles. BMC Med Educ. 2018;18(1):248. PMID: 30384850. DOI: 10.1186/s12909-018-1345-5.

Publication Year: 
2018
Resource Type: 
Peer Reviewed Research
Study Design: 
Other Study Design
Social Determinant of Health: 
Health Care Access
Population: 
Health Care Professionals
Outcomes: 
Provider Experience of Care
Screening Research: 
No