Evaluating Teaching Effectiveness of Medical Humanities in an Integrated Clerkship Program by a Novel Prospective Propensity Score Matching Framework

Chen Huan Chen, Shuu Jiun Wang, Wan Yu Yeh, Chung Li Wu, Yong A. Wang, Cheng Feng Chen, Ying Ying Yang, William J. Huang, Kwan Yee Chan, Chi Wan Lai, Ging Long Wang, Hao Min Cheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: This study aims to rigorously compare the effectiveness of the educational programs of a new integrated clinical clerkship in medicine (3 months) and surgery (3 months) at a cancer center with the conventional subspecialty-based rotations at a tertiary teaching hospital, by this prospective, pre-post comparative method. Methods: Between 2013–2016, we compared 69 students who had selected the integrated clerkship that emphasized clinical competency and medical humanities training with 138 matched peers who had completed conventional clerkships during the same period. Outcome measures for medical humanities included empathy, patient-centeredness, and other values and skills related to holistic health care professionalism by introducing prospective propensity score matching (PSM). Results: At baseline, no significant between-group differences existed. At the completion of the core clerkships, students receiving the integrative clerkship had significantly higher scores on the Patient–Practitioner Orientation Scale (PPOS) and the Professionalism Climate in Clinical Teaching Environment (PCI), and similar Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy Student Version (JSPE) scores, as compared with the comparison group. We also found that the students in this program did not perform worse than those in the traditional internship group in the comprehensive and formative OSCE medical clinical skills test. Conclusions: Our study develops an empirical basis for rigorous evaluation to design medical education to improve the medical humanities values and skills of interns. Features of the new integrated clerkship program that we developed include substantial participation by the students in patient-centered in-hospital culture, as well as reflection, discussion, and feedback on actual clinical cases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1882
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • Clinical training
  • Effectiveness
  • Propensity modelling


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