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Gerontol Geriatr Educ. 2018 May 8:1-8. doi: 10.1080/02701960.2018.1468324. [Epub ahead of print]

Evaluation of geriatrics education at a Chinese University: a survey of attitudes and knowledge among undergraduate medical students.

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a Division of Gerontology, Department of Medicine , Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School , Boston , MA , USA.
b Department of Medicine , University of Chicago , Chicago , IL , USA.


Despite widespread reforms in medical education across China, nationally there has been no mandate or movement toward systemically incorporating geriatrics into curricula. To what degree medical students are trained and have exposure to geriatric topics remains unclear. We surveyed 190 medical students during their final year of medical school at a Chinese medical university, graduating from reformed and also traditional curricula. The survey was comprised of a subjective assessment of attitudes and reported knowledge, as well as an objective assessment of knowledge via a multiple choice test. Student attitudes were favorable toward geriatrics, with 91% supporting the addition of specialized clinical experiences to the curriculum. Students generally reported low exposure to geriatrics, with no statistically significant differences between reform and traditional curricula. There was a statistically significant difference in performance on the multiple choice test between curricula but at a degree unlikely to be practically significant. Students had very favorable attitudes toward geriatrics as a field and specialty; however scored poorly on competency exams, with the lowest performance around diagnosis and treatment of specific geriatric conditions. Our results suggest that there is a need and desire for increased geriatric-oriented learning at Chinese medical schools.


China; Geriatric medical education; medical student attitudes

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