Physician perceptions of the role and value of basic science knowledge in daily clinical practice

Med Teach. 2012;34(9):744-7. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2012.701024. Epub 2012 Jul 20.

Abstract

Background: The role of basic science education in a clinical setting remains unclear. Research to understand how academic clinicians perceive and use this part of their education can aid curricular development.

Aims: To assess physician's attitudes toward the value of science knowledge in their clinical practice.

Methods: Academic physicians from three medical schools completed a questionnaire about the utility of basic science education in core clinical tasks and in practice-based learning and improvement.

Results: A total of 109 clinical faculty returned the survey. Overall, 89% of the respondents indicated that basic science education is valuable to their clinical practice. When asked about the utility of basic science information in relation to direct patient care, greater than 50% of the doctors felt they use this when diagnosing and communicating with patients. This rose to greater than 60% when asked about choosing treatment options for their patients. Individuals also responded that basic science knowledge is valuable when developing evidence-based best practices. Specifically, 89% felt that they draw upon this information when training students/residents and 84% use this information when reading journal articles.

Conclusions: This study shows that basic science education is perceived by responding academic physicians to be important to their clinical work.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Premedical / methods*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • New Jersey
  • Physicians / psychology*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Quality of Health Care