Orientation Can Start Med Students Off on Right Foot

Authors discuss benefits of orientation for both institution and medical students

TUESDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- A well-planned and -implemented orientation for medical students who are entering a new learning environment provides benefits for both the institution and the students, according to an article published online July 26 in Pediatrics.

William V. Raszka Jr., M.D., of the University of Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington, and colleagues discuss how to conduct an orientation that launches a fruitful learning experience for medical students.

The authors write that the first encounter should involve an enthusiastic welcome, and students should have a chance to meet other members of the health care team and learn the basics of how to do their tasks. Preceptors and students should understand the goals, objectives, expectations, and competencies of the experience. Preceptors should strive to learn about the students' past experience, learning style, and specific skills they hope to practice.

"Medical students highly value a learning environment in which they feel part of the health care team, their views are valued, and they make significant contributions to the care of patients. An orientation that includes an enthusiastic welcome, an opportunity to get to know from where the students have come and where they want to go, and setting mutually agreeable SMART [specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound] objectives helps create a supportive and effective learning environment." the authors conclude.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Physician's Briefing