A case study to explore how medical students learn linguistic cognitive skills during preclinical training
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Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE)
Background: Communicative competences are considered central aspects of the medical profession but are often reduced to the physician-patient relationship. Little attention has been given to teaching the linguistic cognitive skills. This study was conducted to understand how medical students learn linguistic cognitive skills during preclinical training in an integrated curriculum. Summary of work: Using a case study, we conducted 3 indepth interviews on 14 undergraduate medical students during their clinical training asking their experiences on learning linguistic cognitive skills during their preclinical training. Inspired by the grounded theory techniques, we analyzed the qualitative data to develop a framework to interpret results. Summary of results: The conceptual framework generated contained two main constructs: 1) ‘political strains of integrating the linguistic cognitive skills into the medical curriculum’, and 2) the effect of ‘nobody knows what they have until it is gone’. Discussion: Under the first construct, students commented there exists some clinical courses considered fundamental, but some others that promote linguistic cognitive skills are perceived unimportant. Under the second construct, students missed the opportunities they had for learning communicative skills in preclinical training. Conclusion: This framework describes how medical students perceive learning of the linguistic cognitive skills during preclinical training. We believe the theoretical constructs that emerged from this study will help curriculum designers to consider the students’ feedback about how they experience the integration of communicative competences into the curriculum. Take-home message: Integrating the linguistic cognitive skills into the medical curriculum is a political matter. Curriculum designers should consider how students perceive the power relationships of the biomedical, clinical, and social science courses to construct a successful integrated curriculum.
Curricular reform , Understanding curriculum integration in medical education , Communicative competences