A short transitional course can help medical students prepare for clinical learning

Heidi Chumley, Cynthia Olney, Richard Usatine, Alison Dobbie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Despite the move toward integrated 4-year medical school curricula, many medical schools still offer a "2+2" curriculum divided into preclinical and clinical phases. These phases represent distinct learning environments that require different learning skills. To prepare students for learning in the clinical environment of the second 2 years, many medical schools offer transitional experiences before the third-year clerkships. Few of these transitional courses have published evaluations, and there is no consensus on the ideal content. In this paper, we provide evaluation and content validity data on a 2-week intensive clinical transition course for beginning third-year medical students. Methods: A multidisciplinary team designed, implemented, and evaluated a 2-week transition course. Students indicated through surveys how prepared they felt for 18 clinical skills. We analyzed pre- and post-survey data using a Wilcoxen rank sum test and compared current to prior students using a chi-square analysis. Results: Students felt more prepared for 16 of 18 skills after the transitional course and for 14 of 18 skills compared to historical controls. Conclusions: A transitional course based on common skills is relevant to students' clerkship experiences and can increase students' self-reported preparedness for the clinical years of medical school.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)496-501
Number of pages6
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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