Education for Health

ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLE
Year
: 2021  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3--10

An evaluation of a medical student international service-learning experience in Southeast Asia


Courtney Davis1, Brian Yuan-Lang Chan2, Alicia Shu Zhen Ong2, Yiwen Koh2, Angela Frances Hui Wen Yap2, Sok Hong Goh2, Arpana R Vidyarthi3 
1 Office of Education, Duke-NUS Medical School; Adolescent Medicine Service, KK Women's and Children's Hospital; Singhealth Duke-NUS Global Health Institute, Singapore
2 Office of Education, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore
3 Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Courtney Davis
Division of Paediatric Medicine, KK Hospital, 100 Bukit Timah Road, 229899
Singapore

Background: International service-learning trips (ISLTs) are structured experiences in a different country where students interact and engage in cross-cultural dialog with others. Month-long ISLTs originating from North American or European medical schools enhance clinical acumen, cultural awareness, and global health familiarity. The impact of experiences shorter than 1 month or those that originate from Asia is unknown. We aimed to determine the impact of a short-term ISLT on medical students' clinical and cultural competence. Methods: At Duke-National University Singapore, we developed an ISLT incorporating peer-assisted learning and a 1-week on-site experience delivering supervised primary care, health screening, and health education in an underserved Southeast Asian community. Using a prospective controlled design, we assessed its impact on medical students' clinical and cultural competency using validated surveys. We compared medical students who participated in the ISTL (intervention group) to a control group of students before and after the ISTL experience. We analyzed responses using univariate analysis and the Kruskal–Wallis test. Results: Sixty-six students responded to the survey (100%). After the ISTL, the intervention group (n = 32) showed an increase in their ratings of clinical competency (preexperience mean = 3.39, postexperience mean = 3.81, P < 0.01) as well as an increase in their cultural competency domains (preexperience mean = 3.61, postexperience mean = 4.12, P < 0.01). Post the ISTL, students in the intervention group rated their clinical and cultural competency higher than the control group (n = 34) (clinical: intervention postexperience mean = 3.81, control postexperience mean = 3.30, P < 0.01; cultural: intervention postexperience mean = 4.12, control postexperience mean = 3.50, P < 0.01). After the ISTL, the intervention group reported increased ratings of self-efficacy (pre mean = 3.99, post mean = 4.29, P = 0.021), which were higher than the control group (pre mean = 4.29, post mean = 3.57, P < 0.01). Discussion: This short-term ISLT in an Asian medical school improved students' clinical and cultural competency and self-efficacy. Our findings suggest a positive impact of short-term ISLTs if designed and implemented with a student learning focus.


How to cite this article:
Davis C, Chan BY, Zhen Ong AS, Koh Y, Wen Yap AF, Goh SH, Vidyarthi AR. An evaluation of a medical student international service-learning experience in Southeast Asia.Educ Health 2021;34:3-10


How to cite this URL:
Davis C, Chan BY, Zhen Ong AS, Koh Y, Wen Yap AF, Goh SH, Vidyarthi AR. An evaluation of a medical student international service-learning experience in Southeast Asia. Educ Health [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 5 ];34:3-10
Available from: https://www.educationforhealth.net/article.asp?issn=1357-6283;year=2021;volume=34;issue=1;spage=3;epage=10;aulast=Davis;type=0