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Postgrad Med. 2012 Sep;124(5):143-50. doi: 10.3810/pgm.2012.09.2585.

Family medicine and sports medicine students' perceptions of their educational environment at a primary health care center in Germany: using the DREEM questionnaire.

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Department of Family Medicine, Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey; Wuppertal Primary Health Care and Research Center, Wuppertal, Germany.


The medical learning environment is changing progressively due to its crucial importance in clinical learning and educational performance. The purpose of this study was to investigate student perceptions of the medical learning environment at a primary health care center outside of a university hospital using the Dundee Ready Educational Environment Measure (DREEM) questionnaire. Various aspects of the environment were compared between family medicine (FM) and sports medicine (SM) students to assess the role of these different rotations and their effect on student perceptions. The DREEM questionnaire, a validated tool for measuring perceptions of educational environments in medical educational environments, was completed by 110 students who were enrolled in FM and SM rotations at Wuppertal Primary Health Care and Research Center in Wuppertal, Germany. Other than 9 of the 50 items, there were no statistically significant differences in DREEM questionnaire scores between these 2 groups, indicating that students' perceptions of the educational environment were not remarkably affected by their rotations. Scores across the sample were fairly high (FM students, 139.45/200; SM students, 140.05/200; overall total score, 139.85/200). These high scores suggest that students enrolled in FM and SM health science programs generally hold positive perceptions of their course environment outside of the university hospital. The positive perception of the educational environment at this primary health care center is hopefully indicative of similar rotations' perceptions internationally. While future studies are needed to confirm this, the current findings offer a chance to identify and explore the areas that received low scores in greater detail.

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