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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 87-94

Learning experiences of medical and pharmacy students at a student-run clinic in south africa and the development of a framework for learning

1 Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
2 Centre for Health Science Education, Faculty Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Correspondence Address:
Shirra Moch
Centre for Health Science Education, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
South Africa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/efh.EfH_281_18

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Background: Trinity Health Services (THS) is a free clinic that serves the homeless community of Braamfontein. The clinic is run by pharmacy and medical students registered in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand, assisted by academic staff. This setting provided an ideal space to document the interprofessional experiences between these two groups of students outside of formal lectures or clinical exposures. Therefore, the research question for this study was: What are the learning experiences of medical and pharmacy students working at an inner-city student-driven clinic? Methods: A convenience sampling method was employed. All students, who volunteered at the clinic on one or more occasion, were invited to participate in a discipline-specific focus group discussion (FGD). Four FGDs were held with between six and eight participants in each. The FGDs were facilitated by a faculty member not involved with the clinic. The recordings were transcribed verbatim and analyzed thematically, using Tesch's eight steps. Results: The following three themes emerged relating to learning experiences: “add more tools to your toolbox;” learning from supervisors and peers, and “we can really make a difference.” These themes formed the framework for learning at THS. Patient care is placed at the core of the framework, and recognizing that learning occurs through serving, three learning outcomes were identified, namely health and homelessness; communication; clinical and communication skills as well as primary health care. Learning was facilitated through interactions with peers, supervisors, and interprofessional relationships. Discussion: The authentic learning experience led to development of accountability, communication, and responsibility. A framework emerged for learning from opportunities central to patient care.

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