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Int J Med Educ. 2019 Mar 27;10:54-61. doi: 10.5116/ijme.5c83.cb08.

Implementing clinical education of medical students in hospital communities: experiences of healthcare professionals.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Department of Anaesthesia/Surgery, Research and Development Center Skaraborg Hospital, Skövde, Sweden.
Skaraborg Institute for Research and Development, Skövde, Sweden.
Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics (LIME), Karolinska Insititutet, Stockholm, Sweden.



To explore healthcare professionals' experiences of implementing clinical education of medical students in communities of practice that previously focused on the delivery of healthcare services.


Seven focus group interviews involving assistant nurses, nurses, and physicians were conducted at a regional hospital in Sweden. A total of 35 respondents participated. Open-ended questions were used to explore respondents' experiences of medical students in their community. Data were analysed using qualitative inductive content analysis.


Three main themes emerged: Staff members becoming learners, structural and sociocultural changes due to the implementation, and features designing the settings of the implementation. Reflection and interactive learning processes among staff, patients, and students were found to stimulate individual learning, to improve the learning climate in the organisation, and to enhance the structure of the clinical work. Attitudes to education among staff members as well awareness of how education is organised appeared to be vital for their experiences and approaches.


Implementing clinical education of medical students at a hospital previously focused on delivery of care was acknowledged to not only stimulate learning among staff but also trigger structural and cultural development in communities of practice. Opportunities for interprofessional interaction and reflection are vital to successfully implement a new student group in communities of practice. Addressing conceptions about and attitudes toward the clinical education of students among healthcare professionals are essential to promote their engagement in education.


clinical education; community of practice; interprofessional learning; medical students; reflection

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