Enhancing learning in longitudinal clinical placements in community primary care clinics: undergraduate medical students' voices

Educ Prim Care. 2019 Sep;30(5):301-308. doi: 10.1080/14739879.2019.1644540. Epub 2019 Jul 30.


Longitudinal clinical placements are increasingly adopted by medical training institutions. However, there seems to be little evidence regarding their implementation in primary care settings in the developing world. This paper explored medical students' perceptions of their learning experiences in longitudinal placements in primary care clinics. The Manchester clinical placement index (MCPI) survey was offered to second-year medical students at the University of Botswana to determine perceptions of their 16 weeks clinical placement in primary care clinics. The MCPI provided data on eight aspects of clinical placements which were analysed to gain insight into students learning experiences while on placement. The eight items in the tool were grouped into four themes, namely, teaching and learning, learning environment, relationships and organisation of placements. Students cited the feedback they received whilst on placement and the learning environment in primary care clinics as aspects of clinical placements which could be improved to enhance their learning experience. For an enriched learning experience in primary care settings in a developing world context, there are critical aspects to be considered. Based on the students' perspective we suggest an approach of how learning in such placements could be enhanced.

Keywords: Clinical placement; learning experience; longitudinal; primary care clinics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Botswana
  • Clinical Competence
  • Community Health Centers
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods*
  • Formative Feedback
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Primary Health Care
  • Students, Medical / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires