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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887

Abstract

ZUNIGA, Denisse et al. Learning during the early clinical years takes more than good study habits: Perceptions of students and teachers. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2015, vol.143, n.11, pp.1395-1404. ISSN 0034-9887.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0034-98872015001100004.

Background: Teaching methods of the undergraduate medical curriculum change considerably from the first years to clinical training. Clinical learning occurs in complex and varied scenarios while caring for patients. Students have to adapt their learning approaches and strategies to be able to integrate theory and clinical practice and become experiential learners. Aim: To identify the strategies used by medical students to learn during the initial clinical years, as reported by students themselves and by their clinical tutors. Material and Methods: We performed eight focus group discussions with 54 students enrolled in years three to six and we interviewed eight clinical tutors. Both focus group discussions and interviews were audio recorded, transcribed and analyzed according to Grounded Theory. Results: Four main themes were identified in the discourse of both students and tutors: Strategies oriented to theoretical learning, strategies oriented to experiential learning, strategies for integrating theory and practice and strategies oriented to evaluation. The mentioning of individual differences was present across the reports of both students and tutors. Conclusions: Students use a rich variety of strategies to face the challenges of clinical learning. Both students and tutors recognize that the learning approaches and strategies vary according the nature of the task and individual differences. The responses of students bring particular knowledge of the approaches used for the theoretical and practical integration and delve into the social dimension of learning.

Keywords : Clinical competence; Students, medical; Study characteristics.

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