BACKGROUND: Longitudinal integrated clerkships (LICs) have been adopted by medical schools to overcome the limitations of traditional block clerkship rotations and to promote continuity of care. In 2018, Seoul National University College of Medicine introduced a patient-centered LIC program as part of a new curriculum in parallel with traditional block rotation clerkships. The purpose of this study was to present the patient-centered LIC program and to investigate its educational effects.
METHODS: In 2018 and 2019, a total of 298 third-year medical students participated in the LIC program. We divided the students into groups of eight, which were organized into corresponding discussion classes. Throughout the academic year, students followed up patients by interviewing them at the hospital or reviewing their electric medical records. Discussion classes on set topics were held seven times per year with facilitators and clinical faculites. Students completed a course evaluation questionnaire at the end of the academic year. The questionnaire included 22 items measured on a 5-point scale and two open-ended questions asking about the benefits and limitations of the program. The items covered three domains: student experience, satisfaction, and self-assessment. Final reflective essays were collected as both student assessments and data for qualitative analysis.
RESULTS: During the study period, the overall experience of the students improved. We increased the number of faculty members and patients and decreased the number of students in each discussion class. We also provided additional feedback through an e-portfolio. Students' satisfaction changed positively. Compared to the rotational clerkship, students answered that the LIC provided additional help in learning the two core competencies. During the first 2 years of the program, the percentage of students who answered that the program was more helpful than the rotational clerkship increased from 23.7% to 46.4% for continuity of care (P < 0.001), and from 20.5% to 50.7% for patient-centered care (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Our patient-centered LIC, in parallel with traditional block rotation clerkships, had a positive effect on students' experience of continuity of care and patient-centered care.