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Title: Adaptation during a longitudinal integrated clerkship: the lived experiences of third-year medical students at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.
Authors: Dubé, Tim V.
Keywords: Medical student adaptation;Transitions;Longitudinal integrated clerkship
Issue Date: 31-Jul-2013
Publisher: Laurentian University of Sudbury
Abstract: There are three interrelated concepts of what medical students learn, which include the formal, informal, and hidden curriculum. Several researchers who have investigated notions of the hidden curriculum have demonstrated how the experiences of medical training entrenched in the hidden curriculum can have a profound impact on medical student adaptation. The most influential transitional stage in undergraduate medical education is the third-year clinical clerkship, when medical students transition from classroom learners into clinicians. The Northern Ontario School of Medicine’s (NOSM) clinical clerkship year consists of a mandatory eightmonths of living and working in rural and northern communities throughout Northern Ontario, and learning in the context of rural family practice. Informed by a social constructivist research paradigm, I explored how 12 third-year students described the challenges they had to manage and, in response, the strategies they employed to adapt to their clerkship. I elicited their experiences and perspectives to contribute to a rich understanding of how students at the NOSM describe developing processes of adaptation during the Comprehensive Community Clerkship. Data were collected between August 2011 and April 2012, including: a) pre-clerkship interviews and a demographic questionnaire, b) mobile methods in the form of ‘guided walks’ in the communities, and c) post-clerkship interviews. The quality of the data collection and analysis were enhanced through processes of methodological and interpretive rigour, representativeness and authenticity, rich description and contextual relevance, audit trail, and reflexivity. Through an inductive thematic analysis of the data, the findings provide a rich description of events experienced such as medical training in one’s hometown or a familiar community, iv transitions including adaptation to the clinical setting and to the medical profession, and the influence of the clerkship on career path, personal well-being, and empathy for patients. The findings serve to advance our understanding of how medical students describe developing processes of adaptation throughout a longitudinal integrated clerkship. Implications are considered for medical students, the NOSM, the clerkship communities, and medical schools nationally and internationally. I propose recommendations regarding the suitability of authentic methods in medical education research, and discuss the implications for rural and northern health research.
Appears in Collections:Doctoral Theses
Interdisciplinary Health / Santé interdisciplinaire - Doctoral theses

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