Linking basic science knowledge retention and perceived clinical relevance in a vertically integrated curriculum

Malau-Aduli, Bunmi S., Lee, Adrian, Catchpole, Marianne, Cooling, Nick, Jose, Matthew, and Turner, Richard (2013) Linking basic science knowledge retention and perceived clinical relevance in a vertically integrated curriculum. In: Abstracts from AMEE 2013. 2D/1. p. 9. From: AMEE 2013: An International Association for Medical Education, 24-28 August 2013, Prague, Czech Republic.

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Background: For medical students to apply clinical reasoning based on sound scientific principles, they must be able to retain basic science knowledge as they progress. However, when knowledge gained is not perceived as applicable to clinical contexts, it is less likely to be retained.

Summary of work: We investigated the relationship between perceived clinical relevance and retention of basic science knowledge in Years 2-5 students through a 50-item multiple-choice question (MCQ) examination. Information was collected pertaining to demographics, prior educational experience, and the perceived clinical relevance of each question.

Summary of results: A total of 232 students (response rate 50%) undertook the assessment task. Retention of basic science knowledge was significantly affected (p<0.001) by year of study, gender and student origin. There were increasingly positive correlations between items answered correctly and their perceived relevance from Years 2 to 5 (Year 2, r=0.040; Year 3, r=0.26; Year 4, r=0.36; Year 5, r=0.60).

Conclusions: This study highlights the increasingly positive correlation between perceived clinical relevance and the retention of basic science knowledge with progression to more senior years. Strategies to promote the clinical relevance of teaching material to students may be critical to the retention of that knowledge and its ultimate transfer to the clinical context. Perceived relevance of a subject matter elicits deep learning and fosters retention of knowledge.

Take-home messages: Basic science knowledge is more likely to be retained if students have a greater perception of its clinical relevance.

Item ID: 39512
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
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Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2015 02:36
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 50%
13 EDUCATION > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 70%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930103 Learner Development @ 30%
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