Clinical learning environments across two different healthcare settings using the undergraduate clinical education environment measure
Benamer, Hani TS
Ho, Samuel B.
Stanley, Adrian G
MetadataShow full item record
Background: The clinical placements of our medical students are almost equally distributed across private and public sectors. This study aims to assess medical students’ perceptions of their Clinical learning Environment (CLE) across these two different healthcare settings, using the Undergraduate Clinical Education Environment Measure (UCEEM). Methods: 76 undergraduate medical students (Year 5 and 6), were invited to participate. Data were collected using an online UCEEM with additional questions related to demographics and case load exposure. The UCEEM consists of two overarching domains of experiential learning and social participation, with four subdomains of learning opportunities, preparedness, workplace interaction, and inclusion. Results: 38 questionnaires were received. Of 225 responses to the individual UCEEM items, 51 (22.6%) scored a mean of ≥4 (range 4-4.5, representing strong areas), 31 (13.7%) scored a mean of ≤3 (range 2.1-3, needing attention) and 143 (63.6%) scored a mean of 3.1–3.9 (areas that could be improved). The majority (63%) of the case load exposure responses scored a mean of ≥4 (range 4-4.5). Compared to the private sittings, there is a significant reduction in total UCEEM (p=0.008), preparedness for student entry (p=0.003), and overarching dimension of social participation (p=0.000) scores for the public sector. Similarly, both workplace interaction patterns and student inclusion and equal treatment scored significantly lower for the public sector (p=0.000 and p=0.011 respectively). Two out of three case load exposure items scored significantly higher for the public sector (p=0.000). Discussion: The students’ CLE perceptions were generally positive. The lower UCEEM ratings in the public sector items were related to student entry preparedness, workplace interactions, student inclusiveness and workforce equity of treatment. In contrast the students were exposed to more variety and larger number of patients in the public sector. These differences indicated some significantly different learning environments between the two sectors.