How do medical students learn in an online community diagnostics program?

Junji Haruta, Takayuki Ando, Seitaro Fujishima

研究成果: Article査読


Background: The need to engage medical students in understanding the social and environmental determinants of health in disparate communities is increasing. However, previous reviews have noted the limited community diagnosis programs and program evaluation. Given the feasibility of the programs, it is expected to be widely available online. Therefore, this study used a realist approach to identify learning patterns through an online community diagnosis program, namely context (C), mechanism (M), and outcomes (O) patterns. Methods: A 2-week general medicine clinical practice program was conducted for 4th- and 5th-year medical students at a medical university in Japan. The program included a one-hour zoom-based lecture, feedback for students on their presentations on community diagnosis, and a structural report on community diagnosis. We developed the program based on variation theory, which views discernment and variation in situations having time, space, and social dimensions as core learning. The students' reflections on their learning through the program were thematically analyzed through CMO perspectives. The realist approach used in the online diagnosis program evaluation allows us to explore, test, and refine what mechanisms work under what conditions (context) and with what interventions (including opportunities and resources), from which we can describe iteratively explainable results. Results: First, the medical students, who spent most of their time in the limited residential areas they lived in, discovered the characteristics of their own community by discovery learning and comparison among peers. Second, they increased their intrinsic interest in the community by discerning specific issues in their familiar community through community diagnosis. Third, they valued community diagnosis by identifying relationships between local data on health issues under their learning responsibility. Fourth, they become more flexible in their thinking and created new knowledge that would fit the local community, and their reflection on themselves was encouraged. Conclusion: In this online community diagnosis program, medical students learned about the community through four types of learning patterns. Medical students may develop an understanding of community with interest using variation theory as a program development perspective and cognitive flexibility theory surrounding the essential ambiguity and abstraction of community.

ジャーナルBMC Medical Education
出版ステータスPublished - 2023 12月

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • 教育


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