Korean J Med Educ.  2013 Sep;25(3):229-237.

Premedical students' experiences in community-oriented primary care

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Family Medicine and Division of Medical Education, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea. ewpark@dku.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE
Medical students must be taught community medicine to understand common community-wide health problems and develop the skills that are needed to solve them. In this study, community-oriented primary care (COPC) projects were undertaken by premedical students in a community medicine course, and their experience was assessed.
METHODS
We analyzed the final reports of 570 premedical students who completed their community group projects from 2000 to 2012.
RESULTS
Eighty-nine community projects were completed by the students. The average number of students per project was 6.3 (range, 3-9). The total number of project themes was 39. Sex education for high school students, guidance on learning for low socioeconomic children, and education on smoking cessation for high school students were the most frequently selected topics. The most common subjects in the projects were high school students, preschool children, elderly people, and hospice patients. With regard to methodology, the students administered questionnaires in 58 cases and held health education programs in 48 cases. In 42 cases, students used social welfare-related community resources. In their final reports, many students felt that an understanding of their identities as future physicians and of the health care and social welfare systems was meaningful.
CONCLUSION
Premedical students' experiences in COPC projects varied and were positive. Teaching community medicine in a premedical course increased students' confidence with their future role as compassionate, socially responsible physicians and their understanding of community resources in a health care network.

Keyword

Premedical students; Community medicine; Primary health care
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