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Fam Med. 2009 Oct;41(9):625-31.

Group medical visits as a teaching tool in a family medicine clerkship.

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  • 1Department of Family Medicine, University of California-Irvine, Orange, CA 92868, USA.



We sought to determine medical students' learning outcomes following exposure to a 4-hour group medical visit (GMV) curriculum that focused on Spanish-speaking patients who had diabetes. The GMV was part of a 4-week block family medicine clerkship for third-year medical students.


We conducted a 1-year longitudinal, prospective study using a before and after survey and a qualitative analysis of end-of-clerkship reflective essays. Eleven survey questions captured change in knowledge about GMV resources, cultural knowledge, and attitudes toward the GMV model.


Ninety students completed the surveys. Fifty students chose to write about the GMV experience in their reflective essays. On the survey, a significant change was found in students' knowledge about culture-specific diabetic resources, cultural knowledge, and self-reported knowledge and attitude about GMVs. Qualitative analysis of the narratives and essays supported and strengthened this finding of positive attitudes about the importance of cultural competency and physician role modeling in the context of the patient-doctor relationship.


Exposure to a 4-hour GMV curriculum is associated with knowledge gain. It is also associated with a positive attitude change, congruent with learning about the relevance of patient-doctor relationship within a cross-cultural setting.

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