Not all who wander are lost: evaluation of the Hull York medical school longitudinal integrated clerkship

Educ Prim Care. 2020 Sep 8;1-9. doi: 10.1080/14739879.2020.1816859. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Longitudinal integrated clerkships (LICs) are increasingly available within the United Kingdom, but gaps in knowledge remain regarding their efficacy and the influence of local context. In 2019-20, the Hull York Medical School ran a pilot LIC for 6 fourth-year medical students. This work describes the longitudinal qualitative programme evaluation. LIC students participated in two focus groups, one after four months, and another at the end of the programme. In total, 16 faculty were also interviewed regarding their experiences in developing, implementing and running the LIC. Students' GP supervisors were difficult to engage in detailed evaluation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and so were briefly surveyed at the end of the LIC. All data were pooled and analysed together using reflexive thematic analysis. Two major themes were identified: 'Trajectory of the LIC', describing the learning curve students and faculty encounter, and 'Institutional decision making', describing the need for clarity regarding the programme's purpose. The programme was largely positively received, but areas for improvement locally, and transferrable recommendations, were identified. Aligning assessment to programme aims is an important area for future development, alongside balancing structured with unstructured time, and supporting students as they navigate a J-shaped learning curve.

Keywords: Longitudinal integrated clerkship; evaluation; medical education; primary care.