Viewpoints of second year medical students about Early Clinical Experience (ECE) in teaching endocrine and gastrointestinal physiology

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Family and Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran

2 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Department of Health Promotion and Education, School of Health, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran

3 Medical Toxicology and Drug Abuse Research Center, Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran



Background: The importance of Early Clinical Experience (ECE) in education is increasing. This study aimed to investigate the viewpoints of medical students about ECE in teaching  endocrine and gastrointestinal physiology lessons.
Method: This study was conducted on 96 second-year medical students in endocrinology and gastrointestinal physiology classes including 15 sessions in the first and second academic semesters of 2022-2023. The first 45 minutes of the class was taught via the lecture method, after the 5 minutes break, the second 45 minutes of the class started by lecture method and a question based case-senario related to the teaching subject of the same session was asked from standard questions of United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE). A researcher-made questionnaire was used at the end of sessions to assess the students' viewpoints. The questionnaire included 12 questions about ECE teaching method, quality of learning, content quality, and student motivation. They were rated by a 5 point Likert scale from completely disagree to completely agree.
Results: The mean age of students was 20.82±1.37 years and 51 (53.1%) of them were male. The mean score of overall students’ motivation, quality of teaching and learning quality was 6.85 ± 1.97,  7.16±2.46, and 14.47±3.8 respectively.
Conclusion: This study suggested the early clinical exposure in teaching endocrine and gastrointestinal physiology. This educational method can be used to solve problems such as students' understanding of the lack of connection between basic and clinical sciences to increase their motivation for learning.


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