Student attitudes towards clinical teaching resources in complementary medicine: a focus group examination of Australian naturopathic medicine students

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Abstract

Background:

Complementary medicine is forming an increasingly large part of health care in developed countries and is increasingly being formally taught in tertiary academic settings.

Objectives:

An exploratory study of naturopathic student perceptions of, use of and attitudes towards teaching resources in naturopathic clinical training and education.

Methods:

Focus groups were conducted with current and recent students of 4-year naturopathic degree programmes in Brisbane and Sydney to ascertain how they interact with clinical teaching materials, and their perceptions and attitudes towards teaching materials in naturopathic education.

Results:

Naturopathic students have a complex and critical relationship with their learning materials. Although naturopathic practice is often defined by traditional evidence, students want information that both supports and is critical of traditional naturopathic practices, and focuses heavily on evidence-based medicine. Students remain largely ambivalent about new teaching technologies and would prefer that these develop organically as an evolution from printed materials, rather than depart from dramatically and radically from these previously established materials.

Conclusions:

Findings from this study will assist publishers, librarians and academics develop clinical information sources that appropriately meet student expectations and support their learning requirements.

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