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BMJ Open. 2014 Dec 1;4(12):e005696. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005696.

The current provision of community-based teaching in UK medical schools: an online survey and systematic review.

Author information

1
School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK.
2
Clinical Sub-Dean, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the current provision and outcome of community-based education (CBE) in UK medical schools.

DESIGN AND DATA SOURCES:

An online survey of UK medical school websites and course prospectuses and a systematic review of articles from PubMed and Web of Science were conducted. Articles in the systematic review were assessed using Rossi, Lipsey and Freeman's approach to programme evaluation.

STUDY SELECTION:

Publications from November 1998 to 2013 containing information related to community teaching in undergraduate medical courses were included.

RESULTS:

Out of the 32 undergraduate UK medical schools, one was excluded due to the lack of course specifications available online. Analysis of the remaining 31 medical schools showed that a variety of CBE models are utilised in medical schools across the UK. Twenty-eight medical schools (90.3%) provide CBE in some form by the end of the first year of undergraduate training, and 29 medical schools (93.5%) by the end of the second year. From the 1378 references identified, 29 papers met the inclusion criteria for assessment. It was found that CBE mostly provided advantages to students as well as other participants, including GP tutors and patients. However, there were a few concerns regarding the lack of GP tutors' knowledge in specialty areas, the negative impact that CBE may have on the delivery of health service in education settings and the cost of CBE.

CONCLUSIONS:

Despite the wide variations in implementation, community teaching was found to be mostly beneficial. To ensure the relevance of CBE for 'Tomorrow's Doctors', a national framework should be established, and solutions sought to reduce the impact of the challenges within CBE.

STRENGTHS AND LIMITATIONS OF THIS STUDY:

This is the first study to review how community-based education is currently provided throughout Medical Schools in the UK. The use of Rossi, Lipsey and Freeman's method of programme evaluation means that the literature was analysed in a consistent and comprehensive way. However, a weakness is that data from the online survey was obtained from online medical school prospectuses. This means the data may be incomplete or out of date. Data in the literature review may also be skewed by publication bias.

KEYWORDS:

EDUCATION & TRAINING (see Medical Education & Training); MEDICAL EDUCATION & TRAINING; PRIMARY CARE

PMID:
25448625
PMCID:
PMC4256542
DOI:
10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005696
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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