Leveraging the Added Value of Experiential Co-Curricular Programs to Humanize Medical Education
Heialy, Saba Al
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Background: The aftermath of the 1910 Flexner report resulted in significant gaps in the structure of medical education. Experiential co-curricular opportunities can contribute to addressing these gaps. Purpose: To explore, from a holistic social constructionism perspective, the added value of a co-curricular program, designed and implemented based on Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory. Methodology/Approach: In this case study, randomly selected medical students, who had participated in an experiential co-curricular program, undertook focus group sessions. Data were inductively analyzed using thematic analysis based on constructivist epistemology. Findings/Conclusions: Benefits at the individual/student level included three interlinked themes: personal, academic, and professional development. The personal development theme related to building character and resilience, and the academic development theme related to application of theory and previously acquired knowledge. Four categories surfaced within the professional development theme. Emergent categories at the community level were institutional advancement, contribution to host centers, and giving back to the community. Implications: Cocurricular programs, that are based on Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory (ELT) and that foster learning as participation in the social world, humanize medical education, and nurture holistic millennial physicians.