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Reading: Student Reflection Papers on a Global Clinical Experience: A Qualitative Study

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Original Research

Student Reflection Papers on a Global Clinical Experience: A Qualitative Study

Authors:

Carmi Z. Margolis ,

Medical School for International Health Moshe Prywes Center for Medical Education, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheba, Israel
About Carmi Z.
MD, MA
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Robert M. Rohrbaugh,

Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; Office of International Medical Student Education, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
About Robert M.
MD
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Luisa Tsang,

OLE Health, Napa, CA
About Luisa
MPH
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Jennifer Fleischer,

Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
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Mark J. Graham,

Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; Center for Teaching and Learning, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
About Mark J.
PhD
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Anne Kellett,

Office of International Medical Student Education, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
About Anne
BA
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Janet P. Hafler

Center for Teaching and Learning, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; Department of Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
About Janet P.
EdD
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Abstract

Background

Many of the 70,000 graduating US medical students [per year] have reported participating in a global health activity at some stage of medical school. This case study design provided a method for understanding the student's experience that included student’s learning about culture, health disparities, exposure and reaction to a range of diseases actually encountered. The broad diversity of themes among students indicated that the GCE provided a flexible, personalized experience. We need to understand the student’s experience in order to help design appropriate curricular experiences [and valid student assessment].

Objective

Our research aim was to analyze medical student reflection papers to understand how they viewed their Global Clinical Experience (GCE).

Methods

A qualitative case study design was used to analyze student reflection papers. All 28 students who participated in a GCE from 2008-2010 and in 2014-2015 and submitted a reflection paper on completion of the GCE were eligible to participate in the study. One student did not submit a reflection paper and was not included in the study.

Findings

All 27 papers were coded by paragraph for reflection and for themes. System of Care/Range of Care was mentioned most often, Aids to Adjustment Process was mentioned least. The theme, “Diseases,” referred to any mention of a disease in the reflection papers, and 44 diseases were mentioned in the papers. The analysis for depth of reflection yielded the following data: Observation, 81/248 paragraphs; Observation and Interpretation, 130/248 paragraphs; and Observation, Interpretation, and Suggestions for change, 36/248 paragraphs; 9 reflection papers contained 27 separate accounts of a transformational experience.

Conclusions

This study provided a method for understanding the student's experience that included student’s learning about culture, health disparities, and exposure and reaction to a range of diseases actually encountered. The broad diversity of themes among students indicated that the GCE provided a flexible, personalized experience. How we might design a curriculum to facilitate transformational learning experiences needs further research.

How to Cite: Margolis, C.Z., Rohrbaugh, R.M., Tsang, L., Fleischer, J., Graham, M.J., Kellett, A. and Hafler, J.P., 2017. Student Reflection Papers on a Global Clinical Experience: A Qualitative Study. Annals of Global Health, 83(2), pp.333–338. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.aogh.2017.04.006
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Published on 12 Jun 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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