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Original Research Paper

Re-visiting the educational environment of a metropolitan medical school in Sri Lanka with special emphasis on clinical learning

Authors:

W.C.D. Karunaratne ,

Medical Education Centre, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, LK
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M.N. Chandratilake

Medical Education Centre, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, LK
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Abstract

Introduction: Clinical competence is central to effective and efficient medical practice. Thus, clinical training lies at the heart of undergraduate medical education. This study examined medical undergraduates’ perceptions of their clinical learning environment as a means to identify service gaps and work towards remediation.

Methods: The DREEM (Dundee Ready Educational Environment Measure) questionnaire was used to measure student perceptions on their clinical learning environment from 262 medical undergraduates at different seniority levels of clinical training. Additionally, two open ended questions were asked.

Results: Overall student perception reflected as overall DREEM score, was more positive on the clinical learning environment. However, sub domain scores revealed “Students’ perception of learning” significantly increases and “Students’ perception of teachers” significantly reduces with advancing years of seniority. Analysis of individual items under each sub-domain revealed problem areas having scores of 2 or less representing all subscales. The thematic analysis of qualitative comments resulted in several themes verifying and elaborating more on quantitative findings.

Conclusions: Despite overall positive student perception scores on the existing clinical learning environment, detailed analysis revealed several problem areas representing all sub domains at a variable degree. Majority of the problems were related to the domain on “students’ perception of teachers”. Several other issues related to clinical rotations and the undergraduate medical curriculum was identified creating a vicious circle of ineffective student learning and poor clinical performance. Therefore, the DREEM questionnaire along with qualitative comments could be considered as a cost effective means of obtaining a broader understanding of any learning environment and could be adopted by an organization to add more depth into quantitative analysis.

How to Cite: Karunaratne, W.C.D. and Chandratilake, M.N., 2016. Re-visiting the educational environment of a metropolitan medical school in Sri Lanka with special emphasis on clinical learning. South-East Asian Journal of Medical Education, 10(2), pp.23–31. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/seajme.v10i2.24
Published on 01 Dec 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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