Background: Medical students in Taiwan start their clerkship in their fifth year. A lack of early clinical exposure can mean they have a lack of medical professionalism and collaborative practice. This study investigates whether early engagement in hospital-based clinical practice could improve their understanding of these requirements. Methods: From 2017 to 2019, a total of 59 medical students at the end of their third year joined a 2-week summer camp at the hospital. Every participant was assigned to work with one patient and they accompanied this patient throughout their hospital course. The students were also asked to interview other medical professionals within the hospital and to write up interview reports. In addition, they had to complete pre- and postcamp questionnaires which included 10 questions to evaluate their recognition of professionalism, doctor-patient relationships, and interprofessional collaboration. Answers to the questions were all rated using a 5-score Likert scale. Results: The total postcamp Likert scores were significantly increased after the 2-week training camp compared with the precourse scores (pre- vs postcourse: 44.08 ± 0.45 vs 46.66 ± 0.33, p < 0.001). In addition, the students' recognition of medical professionalism, the importance of communication with patients, and their respect for other medical professionals were significantly improved after the 2-week training. Conclusion: Our data showed that early clinical exposure through a preclerkship summer camp can help medical students improve their recognition of medical professionalism and interprofessional collaboration.
- Medical professionalism
- Physician-patient relations