Medical students' experience in practical skills is far from stakeholders' expectations

Med Teach. 2001 Jul;23(4):412-416. doi: 10.1080/01421590120043017.


This study compares medical graduates' experience in practical skills with a range of stakeholders' expectations. A questionnaire listing 58 practical skills was sent out to a group of graduating medical students. The medical students were asked to indicate their experience in each skill during medical school. A similar questionnaire was sent out to five groups of stakeholders asking for their expectations regarding graduates' experience. The stakeholders were: faculty members; consultants at clinical departments with interns in training; general practitioners; nurses; recently graduated junior doctors. A total of 472 questionnaires were sent out and 315 (67%) were returned. Medical graduates showed substantial variation in level of experience, and their experience was substantially lower than the expectations of the stakeholders. Nurses and junior doctors tended to have higher expectations compared with faculty members and consultants. Differences between our results and reports in the literature from elsewhere emphasize the importance of performing local needs assessments, and in this process stakeholders apart from faculty members should be involved.