Unchallenged good intentions: a qualitative study of the experiences of medical students on international health electives to developing countries

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10147/326166
Title:
Unchallenged good intentions: a qualitative study of the experiences of medical students on international health electives to developing countries
Authors:
O’Donnell, Patrick; McAuliffe, Eilish; O‘Donovan, Diarmuid
Citation:
O'Donnell P et al. Unchallenged good intentions: a qualitative study of the experiences of medical students on international health electives to developing countries. Human Resources for Health. 2014 Sep 04;12(1):49
Issue Date:
4-Sep-2014
URI:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1478-4491-12-49; http://hdl.handle.net/10147/326166
Abstract:
Abstract Background Irish medical students have a long and proud history of embarking on international health electives (IHEs) to broaden their experience in the developing world. Although there are many opinions in the literature about IHEs, there is a dearth of empirical research that explores the experience and the value of these experiences to medical students. Most students who participate in these IHEs from Irish medical schools are members of student IHE societies, which are entirely run by students themselves. There are varying levels of preparation and interaction with the medical schools in planning these experiences. This study explores the experiences of a sample of students who completed IHEs in 2012. Methods This qualitative study used anonymized one-on-one interviews with medical students in Irish medical schools who completed IHEs to developing countries in 2012. Students were recruited using online noticeboards of student societies and e-mail. Purposive sampling was used to find students from different medical schools, some who had travelled with medical student IHE societies and others who had travelled independently. Seven male and seven female students participated. Interviews were conducted until saturation was reached. Data were then analyzed thematically. Results The main themes identified were the perceived benefits of IHEs, the difficulties experienced with the distribution of charitable donations, the emotional impact on the students of participating in the IHEs, awareness of scope of practice by students, and issues with the current structure of IHEs. Conclusions The informal relationship that currently exists between student societies and the medical schools results in poor accountability and reporting requirements on IHEs. Clearer guidelines and identification of learning outcomes for students would be helpful. The findings are relevant to medical students internationally.
Item Type:
Article
Language:
en
Keywords:
DEVELOPING COUNTRY; VOLUNTEER
Local subject classification:
MEDICAL STUDENTS

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorO’Donnell, Patricken_GB
dc.contributor.authorMcAuliffe, Eilishen_GB
dc.contributor.authorO‘Donovan, Diarmuiden_GB
dc.date.accessioned2014-09-16T11:05:18Z-
dc.date.available2014-09-16T11:05:18Z-
dc.date.issued2014-09-04-
dc.identifier.citationO'Donnell P et al. Unchallenged good intentions: a qualitative study of the experiences of medical students on international health electives to developing countries. Human Resources for Health. 2014 Sep 04;12(1):49en_GB
dc.identifier.urihttp://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1478-4491-12-49-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10147/326166-
dc.description.abstractAbstract Background Irish medical students have a long and proud history of embarking on international health electives (IHEs) to broaden their experience in the developing world. Although there are many opinions in the literature about IHEs, there is a dearth of empirical research that explores the experience and the value of these experiences to medical students. Most students who participate in these IHEs from Irish medical schools are members of student IHE societies, which are entirely run by students themselves. There are varying levels of preparation and interaction with the medical schools in planning these experiences. This study explores the experiences of a sample of students who completed IHEs in 2012. Methods This qualitative study used anonymized one-on-one interviews with medical students in Irish medical schools who completed IHEs to developing countries in 2012. Students were recruited using online noticeboards of student societies and e-mail. Purposive sampling was used to find students from different medical schools, some who had travelled with medical student IHE societies and others who had travelled independently. Seven male and seven female students participated. Interviews were conducted until saturation was reached. Data were then analyzed thematically. Results The main themes identified were the perceived benefits of IHEs, the difficulties experienced with the distribution of charitable donations, the emotional impact on the students of participating in the IHEs, awareness of scope of practice by students, and issues with the current structure of IHEs. Conclusions The informal relationship that currently exists between student societies and the medical schools results in poor accountability and reporting requirements on IHEs. Clearer guidelines and identification of learning outcomes for students would be helpful. The findings are relevant to medical students internationally.-
dc.language.isoenen
dc.subjectDEVELOPING COUNTRYen_GB
dc.subjectVOLUNTEERen_GB
dc.subject.otherMEDICAL STUDENTSen_GB
dc.titleUnchallenged good intentions: a qualitative study of the experiences of medical students on international health electives to developing countriesen_GB
dc.typeArticleen
dc.language.rfc3066en-
dc.rights.holderPatrick O’Donnell et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.-
dc.description.statusPeer Reviewed-
dc.date.updated2014-09-09T11:13:43Z-
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