School of Medicine and Health Sciences Poster Presentations

Title

Non-Traditional Medical Student Experiences on Clinical Rotations

Poster Number

218

Document Type

Poster

Status

Medical Student

Abstract Category

Education/Health Services

Keywords

Medical Education, Non-Traditional Students, Clinical Rotations

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Abstract

Background: According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the average age of matriculation was 24 years over the past four years (AAMC, 2016). This indicates that students are taking at least 2-3 years to pursue additional work or life experiences prior to entering medical school. Students with increased life experience have reported a better transition to clinical years compared to their younger counterparts (Shacklady et al., 2009). Purpose: This study aimed to identify how characteristics of the non-traditional medical students impact their experience on clinical rotations. Methods: An anonymous online quantitative survey was sent to medical students enrolled in clinical rotations at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences from June through August 2017. Non-traditional students were defined as students that had at least one year between undergraduate study and entering medical school. Survey questions were adapted from a qualitative study on the experiences of mature-aged medical students (Jurjus et al., 2017). Results: A total of 57 students responded to the survey resulting in a 16% response rate. Average age upon entering medical school was 24 years. The majority (82%) of the respondents were classified as non-traditional, with most (53.2%) taking 1-2 years before matriculating into medical school. Most non-traditional students reported working in a healthcare setting (23.3%), followed by attending graduate school (14.6%). Non-traditional students identified age, previous work experience, and life experiences as having a very strong impact on their clinical rotation experience. These students also cited preparedness as the most important clinical attribute seen in high-performing peers. Conclusion: These finding support the earlier hypothesis that non-traditional students gain valuable experience from their time between obtaining their undergraduate degree and starting medical. We are currently expanding our survey to three other institutions in order to increase our sample size. This will further help to understand the role previous life experience plays in students’ clinical experience.

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Non-Traditional Medical Student Experiences on Clinical Rotations

Background: According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the average age of matriculation was 24 years over the past four years (AAMC, 2016). This indicates that students are taking at least 2-3 years to pursue additional work or life experiences prior to entering medical school. Students with increased life experience have reported a better transition to clinical years compared to their younger counterparts (Shacklady et al., 2009). Purpose: This study aimed to identify how characteristics of the non-traditional medical students impact their experience on clinical rotations. Methods: An anonymous online quantitative survey was sent to medical students enrolled in clinical rotations at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences from June through August 2017. Non-traditional students were defined as students that had at least one year between undergraduate study and entering medical school. Survey questions were adapted from a qualitative study on the experiences of mature-aged medical students (Jurjus et al., 2017). Results: A total of 57 students responded to the survey resulting in a 16% response rate. Average age upon entering medical school was 24 years. The majority (82%) of the respondents were classified as non-traditional, with most (53.2%) taking 1-2 years before matriculating into medical school. Most non-traditional students reported working in a healthcare setting (23.3%), followed by attending graduate school (14.6%). Non-traditional students identified age, previous work experience, and life experiences as having a very strong impact on their clinical rotation experience. These students also cited preparedness as the most important clinical attribute seen in high-performing peers. Conclusion: These finding support the earlier hypothesis that non-traditional students gain valuable experience from their time between obtaining their undergraduate degree and starting medical. We are currently expanding our survey to three other institutions in order to increase our sample size. This will further help to understand the role previous life experience plays in students’ clinical experience.