A Study of the Learning Approaches of Medical Students before and after Clinical Posting in a Medical College in South India
troduction: Students use either a deep or a surface learning approach focusing on understanding or memorizing, respectively.
Learning approaches vary depending on the learning environment, curricula followed and year of study.
Aim: The aim of this study was to compare the learning approaches of medical students before and after they start their clinical
Materials and Methods: The revised two-factor study process questionnaire (R-SPQ-2F)was administered to 93 second-year
medical students of Sri Muthukumaran Medical College Hospital and Research Institute aged 19–20 years who were posted
in the Departments of General Medicine and Surgery before and after 3 months of their clinical posting. Deep and surface
learning approach main scores were determined.
Results: The majority (87.1%) of medical students in our study had a deep learning approach, and there was no change after
their clinical posting. There was no significant difference in the deep approach and surface approach main scores and subscale
scores before and after their clinical posting. The majority felt that studying was more satisfying (94%), interesting (92%), and
exciting (76%) and they felt like working harder (75%) and learning more deeply (82%) because they had seen patients. The
majority agreed that after seeing patients, they try to understand concepts (94%), relate new to previous knowledge (84%),
logically analyze information (86%), and study out of curiosity (91%) to master the subject (84%).
Conclusion: The majority of medical students had a deep approach to learning before starting their clinical posting and perceived
that seeing patients during their clinical posting had a positive effect on their learning, although no statistically significant
difference was found in learning approach scores.
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