Articles

Assessment of the education environment of senior medical students at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Scarpa Schoeman, Raphuting Raphuting, Sebakeng Phate, Lefokase Khasoane, Cecilia Ntsere

Abstract


Background. The education environment (EE) of a medical school plays a critical role in the learning of its students. The learner, other learners, teachers and the physical environment (campus and hospitals) influence the EE. In addition to recommendations of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) to revise the clinical training platform, staff and senior medical students occasionally experienced the EE in the clinical departments to be challenging.

Objective. To assess the perceived EE in clinical departments at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa, among the 2012 fourth- and fifth-year medical students. Differences in perceived EE scores between different demographic groups were also assessed.

Method. Only the departments where students rotated in both their fourth and fifth years (Obstetrics and Gynaecology, General Surgery, Paediatrics and Neonatology, Internal Medicine, and Psychiatry) were assessed. The Dundee Ready Education Environment Measure (DREEM) questionnaire was contextualised for each department and distributed among fourth- and fifth-year medical students. Questionnaires were self-administered and participation was voluntary. Differences among demographic groups and departments were assessed using the Mann-Whitney U-test and Kruskal-Wallis test (p<0.05). 

Results. The overall response rate was 87.7%. The overall median DREEM combined score for the departments was 137/200. Paediatrics and Neonatology was consistently top-rated, whereas Obstetrics and Gynaecology consistently received the lowest rating in all domains and subscale analyses. There were few significant differences between the DREEM scores of demographic groups. 

Conclusion. The overall EE in the clinical departments was mostly positive, although concerns were raised regarding some departments. 

 

Authors' affiliations

Scarpa Schoeman, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical Education Division, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Raphuting Raphuting, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Sebakeng Phate, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Lefokase Khasoane, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Cecilia Ntsere, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

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Keywords

Education environment; Learning environment

Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2014;6(2):143. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.397

Article History

Date submitted: 2014-02-27
Date published: 2014-11-03

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