• A Comparative Performance of Medical Students at University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix in Rural and Urban Clinical Rotation Sites

      Nguyen, Julia; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Cartsonis, Jonathan (The University of Arizona., 2021)
      BACKGROUND: Despite many recent developments of rural programs in medical education, there are still very few published data comparing the academic performances of medical students who are learning in rural settings with their traditional urban counterparts. PURPOSE: To determine whether the academic performance of medical students at the University of Arizona, College of Medicine – Phoenix partaking in clinical learning experiences at rural rotation sites differ from their corresponding colleagues rotating in the traditional urban clinical settings. METHODS: Comparison of performances, assessed based on clerkship evaluations and shelf scores, between medical students with rural clinical rotation sites (n=64) and those with urban clinical rotation sites (n=177) for the 2017 (n=81), 2018 (n=80), 2019 (n=80) graduating classes. RESULTS: Medical students with rural clinical rotations performed at least as well as their urban counterparts across all shelf examinations as well as clerkship evaluations. Notably, students with rural Internal Medicine clinical rotations obtained higher clerkship evaluation scores (p=0.012) compared to their urban peers. CONCLUSION: This study provides evidence that students with rurally-trained clerkships at the University of Arizona, College of Medicine – Phoenix performed at least as well as their traditional urban peers on shelf examinations and clerkship evaluations. The broader implications of this study lie in the high-quality training in rural communities, evidenced specifically by clerkship performance in Internal Medicine.
    • The impact of medical student research as a discussion topic during the residency interview process

      Daus, Kelly; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; McEchron, Matthew (The University of Arizona., 2021)
      Background: Students with a greater number of research experiences are more successful in the National Residency Match Program (NRMP.) As a result, approximately two-thirds of allopathic medical schools have implemented a scholarly research project (SP) as a part of their curriculum. While inclusion of a SP in the medical school curriculum increases research productivity, literature to date has not investigated its ability to provide students with a means to communicate their scholarly strengths to residency programs during interview discussions. Methods: 123 students from the graduating class of 2019 and 2020 at the University of Arizona College of Medicine Phoenix (UACOMP) completed a 17-question survey examining the student’s SP and whether they completed additional research. Survey participants were asked to quantify how many residency interviewers asked about their SP or additional research during the interview process. Results: 27% of interviewers (SD 27.0) asked students about their SP and 41% of interviewers (SD 32.0) asked students about additional non-SP research. 40% of interviewers asked about research overall to include SP and/or non-SP research. A greater percentage of interviewers (50%, SD 26.2) asked students about their SP if they had undertaken additional research compared to interviewers of students who did not undertake additional research (29%, SD 28.4, p = 0.0237). A greater percentage of interviewers at academic institutions (31%, SD 27.9) asked students about their SP, compared with a smaller percentage of interviewers at predominantly non-academic programs (22%, SD 25.5, p = 0.0054). There were no significant differences in the proportion of interviewers asking about the SP based on the type of specialty, competitiveness of specialty, topic relatedness of project, and publication/presentation status of project. Conclusion: Student research experiences may serve as a meaningful discussion topic during the residency interview. Approximately one-third of interviewers ask about the SP regardless of specialty, research topic, and publication/presentation status of the project. Students with additional research experiences beyond their SP may experience a higher percentage of interviewers asking about their SP. Also, students applying to predominantly academic programs may experience a higher proportion of interview questions about research compared to peers interviewing at non-academic programs.
    • The importance of interprofessional communication as perceived by first-year medical students and the influence of early clinical exposure upon these perceptions

      Leslie, Alicia; The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix; Denny, Lee Anne (The University of Arizona., 2021)
      The importance of interprofessional communication in the clinical realm and the beneficial nature of early clinical exposure for medical students have been well documented in the literature. This study evaluates how the opinions of first-year medical students at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix change over the course of the first year in regard to the importance of interprofessional communication. It also aims to discover whether or not students find the two early clinical exposure courses at the College of Medicine to be useful in developing these opinions. This qualitative research study utilizes a survey composed of two free response questions sent out at the beginning and end of the 2018-2019 school year to the Class of 2022. Using thematic analysis, the authors found that many of the themes in responses stayed the same throughout the year. Students appear to particularly appreciate interprofessional communication for its influence in team-based dynamics and high-quality patient care. This study also found that students frequently described one early clinical exposure course, Community Clinical Experience, as influential in developing perceptions about interprofessional communication.