Clinical location and student learning: outcomes from the LCAP program in Queensland, Australia

Teach Learn Med. 2008 Jul-Sep;20(3):261-6. doi: 10.1080/10401330802199583.


Background: Three students in the 3rd year of a graduate entry medical program self-selected to participate in a 1-year clinical placement, each with a rural general practitioner in central western Queensland, Australia.

Description: Students completed 32 weeks in a rural generalist community immersion medical program and were compared with matched students who completed their year in urban tertiary hospitals. Evaluations included teaching and learning opportunities, assessment of clinical competencies, and semistructured interviews. Views of preceptors, spouses, and community were also evaluated.

Evaluation: All outcome measures were positive and many were greater for the rural immersion students than for the matched urban group. Students were able to achieve the requirements of their medical program in a nontraditional placement. Views of preceptors indicated satisfaction with long-term medical student placements including enjoyment, negligible time or financial impact, and beneficial professional and collegial support.

Conclusions: Long-term immersion placements benefited student learning and had a favorable impact on the preceptors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Learning*
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Preceptorship*
  • Professional Practice Location*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Queensland
  • Rural Health Services
  • Students, Medical*