Hands-on Clinical Clerkship at the Department of General Medicine in a University Hospital Improves Medical Students’ Self-Evaluation of Skills of Performing Physical Examinations and Informed Consent: A Questionnaire-Based Prospective Study

Hands-on Clinical Clerkship at the Department of General Medicine in a University Hospital Improves Medical Students’ Self-Evaluation of Skills of Performing Physical Examinations and Informed Consent: A Questionnaire-Based Prospective Study
Yoshinori Tokushima, Masaki Tago, Midori Tokushima, Shun Yamashita, Yuka Hirakawa, Hidetoshi Aihara, Naoko E Katsuki, Motoshi Fujiwara, Shuichi Yamashita
International Journal of General Medicine, 19 December 2022; pp 8647–8657
Open Access
Abstract
Introduction
The educational effects of a hands-on clinical clerkship on medical students at the Department of General Medicine of Japanese university hospitals remain to be clarified. This study aimed to determine how such education affects medical students’ self evaluation of their clinical skills.
Methods
We enrolled 5th-year-grade students at the Department of General Medicine, Saga University Hospital, Japan in 2017. The students were divided into those who were going to have Japanese traditional-style observation based training mainly in the outpatient clinic (Group O) and those in the 2018, new-style, hands-on clinical clerkship as one of the group practice members in outpatient and inpatient clinics (Group H). A questionnaire survey using the 4-point Likert scale for self-evaluation of the students’ clinical skills at the beginning and the end of their training was conducted in both groups. The pre- and post-training scores of each item in both groups were compared and analyzed using the Mann–Whitney test.
Results
All 99 students in Group O and 121 of 123 students in Group H answered the questionnaires. The response rate was 99%. Two items regarding the abilities of “can perform a systemic physical examination quickly and efficiently” and “can clearly explain the current medical condition, therapeutic options, or risks associated with treatment, and discuss the process for obtaining informed consent” showed higher scores in the post-training survey in Group H than in Group O. There were no differences in these scores in the pre-training survey between the two groups.
Conclusion
A hands-on clinical clerkship at the Department of General Medicine in a university hospital in Japan provided medical students with higher self-confidence in their skills of performing a physical examination and better understanding of patients’ treatment options and the process of informed consent than observation-based training.

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