Chinese Medicine Students' Preparedness for Clinical Practice: An Australian Survey

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Moore, Amber, Canaway, Rachel and O'Brien, Kylie A (2010) Chinese Medicine Students' Preparedness for Clinical Practice: An Australian Survey. the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 16 (7). pp. 733-743. ISSN 1075-5535 (print) 1557-7708 (online)


Background: Little is known about how prepared Chinese medicine (CM) students perceive themselves to enter the workforce. Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate perceptions of preparedness for clinical practice of final-year CM students in Australia. Design: The study design consisted of a written survey focusing on eight dimensions relating to practice: Interpersonal Skills, Confidence/Coping Skills, Professional Networks, Professional Practice Management, Professional Patient Management, Prevention, Holistic Care, and Self-Directed Learning. Part 1 of the survey required participants to choose from six possible responses on how well they believe their CM course has prepared them in relation to 41 statements about aspects of practice (1 = very inadequately through to 6 = very adequately). Part 2 consisted of nine open-ended questions. Study participants: The study participants were final-year Bachelor degree CM and acupuncture students from Australian universities and privately operated educational institutions. Analysis and main outcome measures: Part 1 of survey: mean scores on the eight dimensions of practice. Part 2 of survey: transcribed responses were imported into NVivo8. Each part of the questions was analyzed and grouped into broad themes. Results: Seventy-one (71) of one hundred and seven (71/107) invited students (average age 29.4 years ± 7.4 years) participated in the survey conducted in 2008. Mean scores on eight dimensions of clinical practice were as follows: Interpersonal Skills 3.9 (±1.1), Confidence/Coping Skills 4.0 (±0.8), Professional Networks 4.2 (±0.8), Professional Practice Management 4.2 (±0.8), Professional Patient Management 4.7 (±0.7), Prevention 4.6 (±0.7), Holistic Care 4.4 (±0.7), and Self-Directed Learning 4.6 (±0.6). There was no significant difference in mean scores across gender. Responses to Part 2 indicated a range of suggestions on the strengths of educational courses and how transition to clinical practice could be facilitated. Conclusions: In general, CM students perceived themselves to be “somewhat adequately” or “adequately” prepared for various aspects of clinical practice. Survey results may help inform CM educators about how to better prepare students for entry into the workforce.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1089/acm.2009.0244
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1104 Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Engineering and Science
Keywords ResPubID21751, ResPubID22949, Chinese medicine, undergraduate students, clinical practice, clinical competence, data collection, self concept
Citations in Scopus 13 - View on Scopus
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