Creating a New Paradigm for Premedical Undergraduate Studies: Physicians’ Perceptions of Subjects and Skills Critical for Success in Medical School and Practice

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Duffrin, Christopher ; Berryman, Darlene ; Shu, Jennifer (2009)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: Medical Education Online (issn: 1087-2981, eissn: 1087-2981)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/meo.v11i.4606
  • Subject:
    mesheuropmc: education
    acm: ComputingMilieux_COMPUTERSANDEDUCATION

Background/Purpose: The purpose of this study is to determine subjects and skills that are per­ceived by practicing physicians as essential for success in medical training and practice. Previous studies suggest that better premedical preparation for a future career as a physician may reduce the need for expanded study of non-clinical subjects and skills in the graduate medical curriculum. Methods: The study was performed with a random sample of licensed physicians in Ohio (n=2,100), who were queried utilizing a survey instrument of 54 questions including demograph­ics and perceptions on eight subjects and sixteen skills essential for success in medical school and practice. Completed surveys (n=356) were found to be representative of the national demographics of practicing physicians, including similar age, education, gender, type of practice, and specialty. Results: Respondents indicated that the subjects of business, communications, and technology were rated as most important for physician success, while communications, natural sciences and technology were most important for students. Skills identified as most essential to both training and practice included the ability to utilize technology, being honest and truthful, ability to explore, self-educate and research, and ability to communicate orally. Conclusions: The findings of the study support previous research and indicate that some students entering medical school may not have the breadth of study that practitioners identify as best pre­paring them for success as a student and practitioner. Keywords: Medical education, curriculum
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