Patient-centred education: How do learners’ perceptions change as they experience clinical training?
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The use of patient educators is one of many teaching strategies meant to foster principles of patient-centred care. We previously found that early patient educator exposure helped to shape the understanding of patient-centredness in pre-clerkship learners. We now expand on this work to evaluate whether there is persistence of initial perceptions and to explore general reflections on longer-term impacts of early patient educator exposures once learners are immersed in the clinical phase of their training. In this follow-up study, we conducted group interviews with a sample of learners who wrote reflections as part of their pre-clerkship patient educator experience. We explored how perspectives on patient educators changed over time, and determined which themes identified during pre-clerkship remained relevant to clinical trainees. Audio recordings were transcribed and analyzed thematically using a hybrid inductive and deductive analysis to construct a thematic framework derived through a method of constant comparison. We identified three new themes: “value of early clinical experience”, “change in learners’ perspectives”, and “valuing and applying CanMEDS roles other than Medical Expert”. Themes from pre-clerkship that remained relevant included: “patients’ perspective humanizes disease”, “patients’ experiences with navigating the healthcare system”, “learners’ perceptions of the learning strategy”, and “inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the learning experience.” Many themes identified in pre-clerkship learners remain relevant in early clinical trainees. Further, insights from pre-clerkship experiences with patient educators evolve as learners experience clerkship with definite shifts in emphasis and new perspectives. This work illuminates the utility of patient educators for those considering this strategy for supporting the development of patient-centredness in undergraduate medical education.
KeywordsIdentify formation Patient-centredness Patient educators Qualitative Undergraduate medical education
Ethics was approved by University of Alberta Health Research Ethics Office. SF reviewed all the primary data, co-created and revised the thematic frameworks and drafted and edited the manuscript. AT co-conceived the research question and design, reviewed and analyzed the primary data, co-created and revised the thematic frameworks and edited the manuscript. JC collected and reviewed all the primary data, co-created and revised the thematic frameworks and edited the manuscript. AO co-conceived the research question and design, reviewed the primary data, co-created and revised the thematic frameworks and edited the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.
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