Continuing effectiveness of a community child health programme for medical students

Med Teach. 2006 Dec;28(8):683-9. doi: 10.1080/01421590601142598.


In 1998 an innovative, inter-university child health learning programme involving a wide range of community child healthcare agencies was developed and evaluated. There is little information available on the progress over time of similar curriculum innovations. The programme was re-evaluated in 2003 regarding continued effectiveness. Programme records between 1998 and 2003 were reviewed together with programme coordinator recollections. Agency staff and student feedback questionnaire responses were compared for 1998 and 2003. Agency flexibility in programming and capacity for student visits decreased between 1998 and 2003. Fourteen of the 36 agencies offering placements in 2003 had been with the programme in 1998. In only five of these agencies was the contact person for the programme unchanged. Despite high agency turnover, programme evaluations and student reports and presentations consistently supported achievement of programme aims. Although the programme continued to meet its specific aims, a number of agency factors outside the control of the programme coordinators posed real threats to long-term programme success.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Welfare*
  • Community Medicine / education*
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Interinstitutional Relations
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Pediatrics / education*
  • Program Evaluation
  • South Australia
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching / methods