Objective: To compare preparedness for hospital practice between graduates from a problem-based, graduate-entry medical program and those from other programs (undergraduate problem-based and traditional).
Design: Survey of graduates (by mailed questionnaire) and organisers of clinical training (by semistructured interview); results were compared with published results of surveys of graduates from other programs.
Setting and participants: All graduates of the first intake of the University of Sydney graduate-entry medical program were surveyed at the end of their first intern year (2001), along with the director of clinical training or intern manager at each of the New South Wales hospitals that employed the graduates.
Main outcome measures: Graduates' self-reported level of preparedness in the eight domains of the Preparation for Hospital Practice Questionnaire; and organisers' opinions of their strengths and weaknesses.
Results: 76 of 108 graduates from the graduate-entry program (70%) and organisers of clinical training at all 17 hospitals participated. Graduates from the program felt more prepared than did those from other programs in five of the eight domains assessed (interpersonal skills, confidence, collaboration, holistic care, and self-directed learning) and no less prepared in any domain. Organisers rated the graduates highly, especially in clinical competence, confidence, communication and professional skills. Opinions of interns' knowledge of basic sciences conflicted, with strengths and weaknesses mentioned with equal frequency.
Conclusion: Graduates from the graduate-entry, problem-based program are at least as well prepared for their intern year as graduates from traditional and undergraduate problem-based programs.
- 1. Hill J, Rolfe I, Pearson SA, Heathcote A. Do junior doctors feel they are prepared for hospital practice? A study of graduates from traditional and non-traditional medical schools. Med Educ 1998; 32: 19-24.
- 2. Shin JH, Haynes RB, Johnston ME. Effect of problem-based, self-directed undergraduate education on life-long learning. Can Med Assoc J 1993; 148: 969-976.
- 3. Peterson M. Skills to enhance problem-based learning. Med educ online [serial online] 1997.; 2(3). Available at http://www.utmb.edu/meo (accessed Apr 2002).
- 4. Norman GR, Schmidt HG. The psychological basis of problem-based learning: A review of the evidence. Acad Med 1992; 67: 557-565.
- 5. Schmidt HG. Problem-based learning: does it prepare medical students to become better doctors? Med J Aust 1998; 168: 429-430.
- 6. Finucane PM, Johnson SM, Prideaux DJ. Problem-based learning: its rationale and efficacy. Med J Aust 1998; 168: 445-448.
- 7. Albanese M. Problem-based learning: why curricula are likely to show little effect on knowledge and clinical skills. Med Educ 2000; 34: 729-738.
- 8. Mann KV, Kaufman DM. A comparative study of problem-based and conventional undergraduate curricula in preparing students for graduate medical education. Acad Med 1999; 74 (10 Suppl): S4-S6.
- 9. Schmidt HG, van der Molen HT. Self-reported competency ratings of graduates of a problem-based medical curriculum. Acad Med 2001; 76: 466-468.
- 10. Jones A, McArdle PJ, O'Neill PA. Perceptions of how well graduates are prepared for the role of pre-registration house officer: A comparison of outcomes from a traditional and integrated PBL curriculum. Med Educ 2002; 36: 16-25.
- 11. SPSS for Windows [computer program]. Version 11.0.0. Chicago (IL): SPSS Inc, 2001.
Publication of your online response is subject to the Medical Journal of Australia's editorial discretion. You will be notified by email within five working days should your response be accepted.