Students’ perceptions of relationships between some educational variables in the out-patient setting
Article first published online: 20 AUG 2002
Volume 36, Issue 8, pages 735–741, August 2002
How to Cite
Dolmans, D. H. J. M., Wolfhagen, H. A. P., Essed, G. G. M., Scherpbier, A. J. J. A. and Van Der Vleuten, C. P. M. (2002), Students’ perceptions of relationships between some educational variables in the out-patient setting. Medical Education, 36: 735–741. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2923.2002.01280.x
- Issue published online: 20 AUG 2002
- Article first published online: 20 AUG 2002
- Received 29 May 2001; editorial comments to authors 19 October 2001; accepted for publication 26 March 2002
- education, medical, undergraduate/*methods;
- clinical competence/*standards;
- hospitals, teaching/standards;
- ambulatory care facilities
Background Medical education uses the cognitive apprenticeship model of student learning extensively. Students rotate among different hospitals and out- patient clinics where they are exposed to a range of professionally relevant contexts. Here they learn to think and act in different domains under the supervision of experts. Previous research has shown that these learning situations involve little teaching. Students see a narrow range of patient problems and feedback is limited. The aim of this study is to investigate relationships among some educational variables in the out-patient clinic.
Method This paper provides a theoretical model that specifies the factors influencing the effectiveness of student rotations at out-patient clinics. The model makes distinctions between input variables, such as organizational quality, number of students contemporaneously involved and available space, and process variables, such as patient mix and supervision, and the output variable of the effectiveness of rotations in out-patient clinics.
Results The model was tested against empirical data from evaluative surveys and showed a reasonable fit. The model offers suggestions for improving the learning environment of clinical rotations.
Discussion The strength of this study lies in its process evaluation perspective which investigates interactions between intervening variables rather than the influence of particular variables in isolation from other variables.