Differences in learning objectives during the labour ward clinical attachment between medical students and their midwifery preceptors
Article first published online: 16 SEP 2003
Volume 37, Issue 10, pages 913–920, October 2003
How to Cite
Quinlivan, J. A., Black, K. I., Petersen, R. W. and Kornman, L. H. (2003), Differences in learning objectives during the labour ward clinical attachment between medical students and their midwifery preceptors. Medical Education, 37: 913–920. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2923.2003.01632.x
- Issue published online: 16 SEP 2003
- Article first published online: 16 SEP 2003
- Received 25 March 2002; editorial comments to authors 16 August 2002 and 22 January 2003; accepted for publication 16 May 2003
- medical education;
- medical students;
Objectives Midwives have been actively involved in the clinical teaching of medical students for many years. However, this role has received little attention and limited research has been conducted into either its efficacy or the development of strategies to maximise the potential of such teaching opportunities. We examined medical student and midwifery preceptor attitudes towards students' learning objectives during the labour ward placement.
Methods A descriptive cross-sectional survey of midwifery preceptors and medical students was undertaken. The setting was an Australian teaching and tertiary referral hospital. The questionnaire contained questions about strategies to improve medical student involvement on the labour ward and opinions towards core competencies of the student curriculum.
Results Of 94 questionnaires issued to midwifery preceptors, 63 were returned (response rate 67%). Of 130 questionnaires issued to medical students, 93 were returned (response rate 72%). Major differences in the expectations of students and midwifery preceptors were identified. Only 17% of midwives felt medical students should be involved in helping mothers with breastfeeding, and some no longer saw a role for students in delivering babies or performing well baby checks. These differences in opinions led to student dissatisfaction with their obstetric learning experience.
Conclusion Educators need to ensure that students and midwifery preceptors identify common learning objectives. Failure to address these differences may lead to poor interdisciplinary relationships.