The clinical learning environments in medicine, paediatrics and surgery clerkships


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27 Scopus citations


Summary. Using questionnaires, the students of the 1981 graduating class from McGill's Faculty of Medicine were investigated for their perceptions of the nature of the clinical instruction and of the roles of the consultant, resident and intern staffs during clerkships in medicine, paediatrics and surgery. Personal student diaries were used to assess time spent on various clinical activities. The results indicated that students perceived learning to be different in the three disciplines, with the acquisition of clinical skills (technical and problem‐solving skills) greater in medicine and surgery than in paediatrics, and the acquisition of interpersonal skills and factual knowledge greater in paediatrics than in medicine and surgery. Students perceived themselves as passive observers in surgery and formed personal relationships more easily with staff in medicine and paediatrics than in surgery. In contrast, students perceived more emphasis on team effort in surgery. Time spent on activities related to direct patient encounter was greatest in medicine. The findings suggest that the learning environments in clinical disciplines are not homogeneous and this has implications for curricular planning and clinical teaching. 1985 Blackwell Publishing

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-60
Number of pages7
JournalMedical education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1985


  • *Clinical clerkship
  • *Learning
  • Clinical skills
  • Interpersonal relations
  • Pediatrics/*educ
  • Perception
  • Quebec
  • Students
  • Surgery/*educ
  • Teaching
  • Time factors
  • medical/*psychol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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