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An exploration of students’ experiences of the PPD pre-arrival task: Its feasibility and impact

An exploration of students’ experiences of the PPD pre-arrival task: Its feasibility and impact
An exploration of students’ experiences of the PPD pre-arrival task: Its feasibility and impact
Background and purpose: firm guidelines have been put forward on professional outcomes and standards in medical education1, yet there is no agreed model for teaching professionalism2. Following a curriculum re-design in 2013/14, Southampton medical school introduced a programme of personal and professional development (PPD) in the early years. A pre-arrival task was introduced in 2014/15 to encourage students to research and document what kind of doctor they would like to be and what they think it means to be a medical professional. Pre-arrival tasks are increasingly used in Higher Education to help students prepare for the transition to university3,4, although to our knowledge this was the first time that a pre-arrival task has been used in a UK medical school. The early feedback from students in 2014/15 was positive and the PAT was re-run in 2015/16. This research explores the student experience of the PAT, looking at whether completing the PAT was feasible, the task itself, how participants approached the task and any impact it had.

Methodology: all first year students on the BM5 programme at Southampton University were eligible to participate. A total of 22 students participated, with a mix of graduate entrants (GE, n=9) and undergraduate entrants (UE, n=13). Four focus groups were conducted, ranging in length from 42-77 minutes. With participants’ consent, the focus groups were audio-recorded and transcribed. The data was analysed thematically.

Results: the task was feasible for most students, with the exception of 2 participants who had issues with timing. Many participants were unsure about what was expected of them, although GEs were less worried than the UEs. GEs tended to approach researching for the PAT with articles and material from the GMC, whereas UEs sought advice from family and the University website and often struggled to meet the required length. The impact of the task was more prominent for UEs: helping them to re-focus on studying, gain greater understanding into professionalism and the importance of it as future doctors. Ultimately, the PAT was considered more helpful for UEs.

Discussion and conclusions: there appear to be differences in how UE and GE students understood what was expected of them, how they approached the task, and what they took away from it. This suggests that there may be some important differences in how UE and GE students engage with professionalism teaching when they arrive at medical school

Cairns, Lauren
61b2b8b6-ea93-495b-b508-8f9eda351296
Timm, Anja
28485de4-3234-48f2-9ac7-9b262d366a54
Lynch, Siobhan
1432be4a-0a45-4bf1-b2df-d9ad3a064b73
Cairns, Lauren
61b2b8b6-ea93-495b-b508-8f9eda351296
Timm, Anja
28485de4-3234-48f2-9ac7-9b262d366a54
Lynch, Siobhan
1432be4a-0a45-4bf1-b2df-d9ad3a064b73

Cairns, Lauren, Timm, Anja and Lynch, Siobhan (2016) An exploration of students’ experiences of the PPD pre-arrival task: Its feasibility and impact. Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME) Annual Scientific Meeting 2016, United Kingdom.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)

Abstract

Background and purpose: firm guidelines have been put forward on professional outcomes and standards in medical education1, yet there is no agreed model for teaching professionalism2. Following a curriculum re-design in 2013/14, Southampton medical school introduced a programme of personal and professional development (PPD) in the early years. A pre-arrival task was introduced in 2014/15 to encourage students to research and document what kind of doctor they would like to be and what they think it means to be a medical professional. Pre-arrival tasks are increasingly used in Higher Education to help students prepare for the transition to university3,4, although to our knowledge this was the first time that a pre-arrival task has been used in a UK medical school. The early feedback from students in 2014/15 was positive and the PAT was re-run in 2015/16. This research explores the student experience of the PAT, looking at whether completing the PAT was feasible, the task itself, how participants approached the task and any impact it had.

Methodology: all first year students on the BM5 programme at Southampton University were eligible to participate. A total of 22 students participated, with a mix of graduate entrants (GE, n=9) and undergraduate entrants (UE, n=13). Four focus groups were conducted, ranging in length from 42-77 minutes. With participants’ consent, the focus groups were audio-recorded and transcribed. The data was analysed thematically.

Results: the task was feasible for most students, with the exception of 2 participants who had issues with timing. Many participants were unsure about what was expected of them, although GEs were less worried than the UEs. GEs tended to approach researching for the PAT with articles and material from the GMC, whereas UEs sought advice from family and the University website and often struggled to meet the required length. The impact of the task was more prominent for UEs: helping them to re-focus on studying, gain greater understanding into professionalism and the importance of it as future doctors. Ultimately, the PAT was considered more helpful for UEs.

Discussion and conclusions: there appear to be differences in how UE and GE students understood what was expected of them, how they approached the task, and what they took away from it. This suggests that there may be some important differences in how UE and GE students engage with professionalism teaching when they arrive at medical school

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 18 April 2016
Published date: 7 July 2016
Venue - Dates: Association for the Study of Medical Education (ASME) Annual Scientific Meeting 2016, United Kingdom, 2016-07-06
Organisations: Medical Education

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 397598
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/397598
PURE UUID: 9eeab27e-6f3c-4931-833a-167b29d34dec

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 04 Jul 2016 10:51
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 18:37

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