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Surgeon. 2007 Oct;5(5):271-4.

Undergraduate medical students' perceptions and expectations of theatre-based learning: how can we improve the student learning experience?

Author information

1
School of Medicine, University of Aberdeen. n.fernando@abdn.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Much of the student experience in theatre depends on the interaction between student and surgeon, and having the opportunity to take part in procedures. Theatre-based teaching can be seen as having little inherent benefit otherwise. We wished to identify other factors contributing to the experience of theatre-based teaching.

DESIGN:

A questionnaire survey, using forced-choice and open questions, of undergraduate medical students with experience of surgical attachments.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:

54 final (5th) year medical students, University of Aberdeen.

ANALYSIS:

Responses on the closed questions are presented as percentages. The themes arising from the open questions were identified and the relationships among these themes explored.

RESULTS:

Student expectations of learning focused on knowledge acquisition. Students learning experiences varied widely, depending on how welcome they felt in theatre. Visibility and active participation influenced the experience. Students did not feel adequately prepared for getting the most out of this learning experience.

CONCLUSIONS:

The student experience may be skewed by unrealistic expectations of theatre-based learning. Clear and realistic learning objectives, preparation in terms of familiarity with the environment and staff roles, embedding the experience in the patient's journey/care pathways, faculty expectations being clearly communicated to clinical teaching staff and, perhaps above all, approachability of theatre staff are likely to improve the learning experience.

PMID:
17958225
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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