The evolution of medical students’ preparedness for clinical practice during the transition of graduation: a longitudinal study from the undergraduate to postgraduate periods

Chung Hsien Chaou*, Shiuan Ruey Yu, Yu Che Chang, Shou De Ma, Hsu Min Tseng, Ming Ju Hsieh, Ji Tseng Fang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Graduating from medical school and beginning independent practice appears to be a major transition for medical students across the world. It is often reported that medical graduates are underprepared for independent practice. Most previous studies on undergraduates’ preparedness are cross-sectional. This study aimed to characterize the development and trend of medical students’ preparedness and its association with other objective and subjective indicators from the undergraduate to postgraduate periods. Methods: This was a prospective cohort study. The participants were recruited and followed from two years before graduation to the postgraduate period. The preparedness for independent practice, professional identity, and teamwork experience were biannually measured using previously validated questionnaires. The participants’ basic demographic information, clinical learning marks from the last two years, and national board exam scores were also collected. Results: A total of 85 participants completed 403 measurements in the 5 sequential surveys. The mean age at recruitment was 23.6, and 58 % of participants were male. The overall total preparedness score gradually increased from 157.3 (SD=21.2) at the first measurement to 175.5 (SD=25.6) at the fifth measurement. The serial individual preparedness scores revealed both temporal differences within the same learner and individual differences across learners. Despite the variations, a clear, steady increase in the overall average score was observed. Participants were least prepared in the domain of patient management at first, but the score increased in the subsequent measurements. The participants with better final preparedness had better professional identity (p<0.01), better teamwork experience (p < 0.01), and higher average clinical rotation marks (p<0.05). Conclusions: The preparedness for practice of medical students from the undergraduate to postgraduate periods is associated with their professional identity, teamwork experience, and objective clinical rotation endpoint. Although preparedness generally increases over time, educators must understand that there are temporal fluctuations and individual differences in learners’ preparedness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number260
JournalBMC Medical Education
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 12 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Clinical placement
  • Longitudinal study
  • Preparedness for practice
  • Professional identity
  • Questionnaire study
  • Transition
  • Undergraduate medical education

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The evolution of medical students’ preparedness for clinical practice during the transition of graduation: a longitudinal study from the undergraduate to postgraduate periods'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this