Experiences of a student-run clinic in primary care: a mixed-method study with students, patients and supervisors

Scand J Prim Health Care. 2018 Mar;36(1):36-46. doi: 10.1080/02813432.2018.1426143. Epub 2018 Jan 25.


Objective: To explore how a student-run clinic (SRC) in primary health care (PHC) was perceived by students, patients and supervisors.

Design: A mixed methods study. Clinical learning environment, supervision and nurse teacher evaluation scale (CLES + T) assessed student satisfaction. Client satisfaction questionnaire-8 (CSQ-8) assessed patient satisfaction. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with supervisors.

Setting: Gustavsberg PHC Center, Stockholm County, Sweden.

Subjects: Students in medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and psychology and their patients filled in questionnaires. Supervisors in medicine, nursing and physiotherapy were interviewed.

Main outcome measures: Mean values and medians of CLES + T and CSQ-8 were calculated. Interviews were analyzed using content analysis.

Results: A majority of 199 out of 227 student respondents reported satisfaction with the pedagogical atmosphere and the supervisory relationship. Most of the 938 patient respondents reported satisfaction with the care given. Interviews with 35 supervisors showed that the organization of the SRC provided time and support to focus on the tutorial assignment. Also, the pedagogical role became more visible and targeted toward the student's individual needs. However, balancing the student's level of autonomy and the own control over care was described as a challenge. Many expressed the need for further pedagogical education.

Conclusions: High student and patient satisfaction reported from five disciplines indicate that a SRC in PHC can be adapted for heterogeneous student groups. Supervisors experienced that the SRC facilitated and clarified their pedagogical role. Simultaneously their need for continuous pedagogical education was highlighted. The SRC model has the potential to enhance student-centered tuition in PHC. Key Points Knowledge of student-run clinics (SRCs) as learning environments within standard primary health care (PHC) is limited. We report experiences from the perspectives of students, their patients and supervisors, representing five healthcare disciplines. Students particularly valued the pedagogical atmosphere and the supervisory relationship. Patients expressed high satisfaction with the care provided. Supervisors expressed that the structure of the SRC supported the pedagogical assignment and facilitated student-centered tuition - simultaneously the altered learning environment highlighted the need for further pedagogical education. Student-run clinics in primary health care have great potential for student-regulated learning.

Keywords: Student-run clinic; clinical learning environment; clinical supervisor; medical education; primary health care; student-centered tuition.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude*
  • Child
  • Clinical Competence
  • Education, Medical
  • Education, Nursing
  • Education, Professional / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Therapy / education
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Physical Therapists / education
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Psychology / education
  • Student Run Clinic*
  • Students*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden
  • Young Adult

Grant support

This work was supported by Stockholm County Council under Grant ALF Pedagogik SLL20140632.