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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 357-365

Students' Perceptions Towards a Family Medicine Attachment Experience

1 Department of Family & Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Centre for Research in Education, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
3 Department of Community Health, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Khalid A Kalantan
Associate Professor, Department of Family & Community Medicine (34), College of Medicine, King Saud University. P.O. Box 2925, Riyadh 11461
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Objective: To explore the students' perceptions about their experience in a family medicine (FM) preceptorship in order to provide a sound basis for offering guidance to family medicine undergraduate education. Methods: During one full academic year at King Saud University, College of Medicine, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a self administered questionnaire was distributed to all students (n = 177) at the end of each 6 weeks family practice attachment course. Students were asked to rate their attachment by responding to a five-points Likert type scale questionnaire and other Yes/No questions reflecting different important points in teaching and training. Results: The teaching quality and the ability of the General Practitioners (GPs) preceptors to relate to students are rated very highly. Despite that, the majority of students (59.3%) feel their aims were not met during the attachment. Students indicate that there should be more teaching of practical procedure skills, more time allocated for discussion and a greater student involvement in the consultation. Conclusion: There is much to be retained in FM preceptorships that involves the caring and communication aspects of learning patient care. The study showed that practical procedure skills are desirable features of a preceptorship programme and that an emphasis on doing vs. observing is preferred by students. Some conditions designed to improve preceptorships are outlined and basic practicalities of adding a preceptorship to a practice are considered.

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