ERIC Number: ED429512
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Fostering Student Adjustment to Medical School: Evaluation of One Innovative Curricular Approach.
Dennis, Kay S.
This study evaluated an innovative curriculum for first-year medical students which was designed to render the undergraduate curriculum more humanistic in socializing students into medicine. The Personal, Professional, and Leadership (PPL) development program provides guided, semi-structured opportunities to create "communities of learning" by forming heterogeneous groups of nine students who meet regularly with volunteer faculty facilitators throughout the four-year curriculum to explore personal, professional, and leadership development in the practice of medicine. The evaluation was conducted with the third cohort of students in the program and involved focus groups comprised of two students from each of eight PPL groups. Analysis of focus group interview data identified three major themes: (1) PPL participants found social support; (2) PPL participants found academic support; and (3) PPL participants struggled with unmet adult learning needs. A questionnaire completed by the 12 of the 16 faculty facilitators indicated that respondents felt the program was generally effective and fostered peer support and a sense of community. Overall, analysis suggests that although the PPL program provides important benefits to first-year medical students, it lacks several elements fundamental to adult education programming, such as a needs assessment and attention to the special needs of introverted students. (Contains 16 references.)(DB)
Descriptors: Adult Education, Cooperative Learning, Curriculum Development, Faculty Advisers, Focus Groups, Higher Education, Humanistic Education, Leadership Training, Medical Education, Medical Students, Professional Development, Program Effectiveness, Program Evaluation, School Counseling, Socialization, Student Adjustment, Student Attitudes, Student Development, Student Needs, Student School Relationship
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Diego, CA, April 13-17, 1998).