A Comparative Performance of Medical Students at University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix in Rural and Urban Clinical Rotation Sites
AffiliationThe University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
DescriptionA Thesis submitted to The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.
AbstractBACKGROUND: 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.