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What educational resources are medical students using for personal study during primary care attachments?

Baudains, C.ORCID: 0000-0001-8340-864X, Metters, E., Easton, G. and Booton, P. (2013) What educational resources are medical students using for personal study during primary care attachments? Education for Primary Care, 24 (5). pp. 340-345.

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Today's medical students have grown up in a technological world, with access to a wide variety of educational resources for their personal study. Although there is some evidence from the USA that students prefer the internet to textbooks, there is little evidence of UK students' preferences, particularly during their primary care attachments. Aims To identify what educational resources medical students are using for their personal study during primary care attachments and why they make these choices. Methods We held two focus groups, one with five, and one with seven fifth-year UK medical students after their primary care attachment. We analysed the transcripts using thematic analysis to identify the educational resources used, and identified themes to describe why the students made these choices. Results Textbooks remain students' resource of choice for personal study. The most popular textbook was The Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine and internet sites were Google and GP Notebook. The choice of resource was influenced by convenience, purpose, recommendation, exam focus, reliability and learning styles. Two further overarching themes influencing their choices were the broad nature of general practice and the use of GP tutors as an important learning resource. Discussion In contrast to the USA, textbooks remain the most popular resource for these UK students. Students felt that the style of learning within general practice was fundamentally different to other specialities due to the breadth of the subject matter and this influenced the resources used. This research could help inform the development of educational resources tailored to the learners, and provides further evidence for the need to develop a more structured curriculum for students in primary care. Further research could explore the ideal role of GP tutors.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Radcliffe Publishing Ltd
Copyright: © 2013 Radcliffe Publishing Limited
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