Background: The primary objective of medical education is to prepare students for a lifetime of patient care. One of the key requisites of a curriculum is providing relevance to learning. Early clinical exposure (ECE) introduces some aspects of clinical and social contexts of patient care into the 1st year of undergraduate teaching program so as to provide a reference to basic science learning to understand applicative aspects of learning.
Aims and Objectives: The aims of the study were (i) to compare conventional lecture methods with ECE as a relevance to diagnosis, patient care, and treatment. (ii) To assess the development of attitude, ethics, and professionalism as integral to doctor-patient relationship.
Materials and Methods: The study group consisted of 150 voluntary participants of 1st year MBBS 2019 batch. These students were arranged into two groups, Group A (ECE group) and Group B (non-ECE group). Group A was exposed to ECE method of teaching of 1 h session in the medicine outpatient department by faculty from the medicine department. Group B was exposed to same topic by traditional teaching method (didactic lecture) for 1 h session in the department of physiology. Both groups were assessed. Knowledge was tested by multiple-choice questions, skills were tested by objective structured practical examination, and attitudinal domain was tested by perception-based questionnaire using Likert scale.
Results: Performance of Group A (ECE group) students in terms of knowledge, skills, and attitude has been found to be statistically significant compared to Group B (non-ECE group).
Conclusions: From the present study, we found that ECE was a better T-L methodology than traditional teaching in medical students and will prepare students for a lifetime of patient care.
Early Clinical Exposure; Traditional Teaching; Medical Education