Health Sciences Education Symposium

First Author Information

Melissa K. Bradner, MD, MSHA, Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health

Additional Author(s) Information

Sharon Kaufer Flores, MS, Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health

Judy S. Gary, MEd, Virginia Commonwealth University, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health

Sharon Zumbrunn, PhD, Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Education

Presentation Format


Type of Activity


Original Presentation Date


Date of Submission

May 2017

Abstract/Short Description

Background: There is substantial research on the effectiveness of ambulatory medical preceptors’ teaching skills, but less is known about the student perspective: What do students say contributes most to effective learning in a busy clinical practice?

Methods: As part of a formative mid-point assessment during the third-year clerkship in family medicine, students were asked to respond to the following open-ended reflective prompt: 'My preceptor contributed to my learning by...' A qualitative assessment of student responses was conducted to identify themes describing effective learning in the ambulatory setting. Responses for all clerkship students from the years 2012-2014 were examined (N=314).

Results: The most common characteristic of effective learning identified by respondents was Autonomy in Practice. Other prominent themes included Stimulating Critical Thinking and Feedback.

Purpose/Research Question

What do medical students believe constitutes effective learning in the ambulatory clinical setting?


What do medical students believe constitutes effective learning in the ambulatory clinical setting?


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Is Part Of

VCU Medical Education Symposium