A mixed methodology retrospective analysis of the learning experience of final year medical students attached to a 1-week intensive palliative care course based at an Australian university

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2014 Sep;31(6):636-40. doi: 10.1177/1049909113496451. Epub 2013 Jul 23.


Aims: To assess the experiences in an established 1-week palliative care placement for final year medical students attending the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

Design: A retrospective, mixed methodology, consecutive cohort. Student data collected included satisfaction feedback scores, open-ended questions and palliative medicine multiple-choice results before and after their 1-week placement.

Results: Although there were high satisfaction ratings and objective improvements (P < .001) seen in multiple-choice quiz scores, a subset did not improve. Practical issues such as prescribing, opioid use, and conversions were particularly valued by students. More teaching time and practical experience were requested.

Discussion: Given the importance of palliative care teaching within a medical degree, the results suggest continued development and review of palliative medical education are essential.

Keywords: medical students; palliative care; palliative medicine.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / organization & administration*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • New South Wales
  • Palliative Care / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Students, Medical / psychology*