BMC Med Educ. 2022 Aug 1;22(1):590. doi: 10.1186/s12909-022-03606-1.
BACKGROUND: Medical graduates should have acquired basic competences that enable them to practice medicine independently as physicians and to enter postgraduate training in any specialty they wish. Little is known about advanced undergraduate medical students' perceptions of basic medical competences needed to start postgraduate training and about specialty-specific competences. This qualitative study aims to identify medical students' perceptions of basic medical competences and specific competence requirements for different specialties.
METHODS: In December 2020, sixty-four advanced undergraduate medical students participated in the role of a resident in a competence-based telemedicine training simulating a first day in postgraduate training. After the training, eight focus group interviews were conducted about students' perceptions of basic medical competences and specialty-specific competences using a semi-structured interview guide. The interviews were transcribed and analysed thematically according to the six steps of Braun and Clarke. The analysis was carried out by an inductive search for themes, which were deductively assigned to the six competence areas of the requirement-tracking questionnaire (R-Track).
RESULTS: Regarding basic medical competences, four R-Track competence areas could be identified as main themes. The students considered 'Social-interactive competences' to be particularly relevant for basic clinical work, including 'Structuring information', 'Tactfulness', and 'Stress resistance'. Students especially emphasized 'Concentration' as an important aspect of the competence area 'Mental abilities'. Among 'Personality traits', 'Honesty' was mentioned most frequently, and students were also aware that 'Expertise' is particularly important for 'Motivation'. For different specialties, some competence areas were newly added to the competences needed for the respective specialty. For surgery, the competence areas 'Sensory abilities' and 'Psychomotor & multitasking abilities' were mentioned anew. 'Sensory abilities' were also newly attributed to radiology. 'Mental abilities' were mentioned as new competence area for psychiatry and internal medicine, while for anaesthesiology, 'Psychomotor & multitasking abilities' were newly added.
CONCLUSIONS: Advanced students seem to be well aware of basic competences needed for clinical practice. Good consensus between students and physicians was only found for psychiatry-specific competences. Medical schools should support their students in matching their perceptions of competences needed for specific specialties with specialty-specific requirements for a realistic choice of a specialty for postgraduate training.
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