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J Adv Med Educ Prof. 2017 Oct;5(4):172-176.

Early clinical exposure program in learning renal physiology.

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Shiraz Medical School, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
Community Based Psychiatric Care Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
Clinical Education Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.



Teaching renal physiology for undergraduate medical students in an understandable way using methods which improve their deep learning has always been a problem. In this study, Early Clinical Exposure (ECE) was used in teaching renal physiology for the second year medical students in Shiraz Medical School. This article aims to introduce and develop this program and also measure the attitude of medical students toward ECE in learning renal physiology.


This is a mixed method study conducted on 120 second year undergraduate students. After performing the course, both qualitative and quantitative methods were used for measuring the viewpoints of the students. In the qualitative part, 10 high rank medical students were selected. These students participated in brain storming sessions to express their opinion about the program based on the strengths and weaknesses. For trustworthiness of the qualitative part, member check and peer check were done. In the quantitative part, a researcher-made questionnaire was used based on the objectives of the program in a 4 point Likert scale. The validity of questionnaire was determined by medical education experts and reliability was determined after a pilot study.


Based on the results of the quantitative part of the study, 98 percent of the students stated that the ECE program was generally a useful program. In the qualitative part, the students' comments were obtained. The benefits of the program were summarized in 4 main themes. These themes are "understanding of renal physiology", "Integration of basic and clinical knowledge", "Improvement of attitude toward importance of physiology", and "encouragement to study". In response to the questions about negetive aspects of this program in qualitative part, the two main themes were insufficient time and large grup size.


Students reported that ECE was useful, but they stated that they needed to have more encounter with patients and more hospital teaching. The results also reveal that this ECE program is an excellent approach to strengthen learning in a difficult subject like renal physiology. This approach is adjustable to other basic science topics and subjects as well.


Integration ; Learning; Early Clinical Exposure

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