Undergraduate psychiatry students’ attitudes towards teaching methods at an Irish university
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At University College Dublin, teaching in psychiatry includes clinical electives, lectures, small-group and problem-based teaching, consistent with international trends.
To determine final-year psychiatry students’ attitudes towards teaching methods.
We distributed questionnaires to all final-year medical students in two classes (2008 and 2009), after final psychiatry examination (before results) and all of them participated (n = 111).
Students’ interest in psychiatry as a career increased during psychiatry teaching. Students rated objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) as the most useful element of teaching and examination. The most common learning style was “reflector”; the least common was “pragmatist”. Two thirds believed teaching could be improved (increased patient contact) and 89 % reported that experience of psychiatry changed attitudes towards mental illness (increased understanding).
Students’ preference for OSCEs may reflect the closeness of OSCE as a form of learning to OSCE as a form of assessment: OSCEs both focus on specific clinical skills and help prepare for examinations. Future research could usefully examine the extent to which these findings are university-specific or instructor-dependent. Information on the consistency of various teaching, examination and modularisation methods would also be useful.
KeywordsEducation Medical Undergraduate Schools Medical Models Educational Problem-based learning Psychiatry
The authors are very grateful to the staff and students of the School of Medicine and Medical Science at UCD for their participation in this study. The authors are very grateful to the peer-reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions.
Conflict of interest
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