Is Direct Interaction With Preceptors Linked to Clerkship Satisfaction and Medical Knowledge Gain?

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To evaluate the correlation between direct-interaction time of OBGYN students with preceptors and their clerkship satisfaction and medical knowledge acquisition.


Historically, physician-teaching ratings by students have predicted NBME subject exam scores and level of interest in the preceptor's specialty. Finding that direct-interaction time is also important could justify increased faculty support for teaching.


MS3 students (n=176) enrolled in the OBGYN clerkship were eligible for this IRB-approved study. Students received the study overview and instructions during clerkship orientation. Participating students texted logged minutes daily to a designated phone number linked to a secured database. The NBME score, clerkship satisfaction survey and logged interaction time were merged into a de-identified database for analysis. Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated to estimate associations of participation in minutes logged, NBME scores and clerkship satisfaction.


26.7% (n=47) of eligible students reported their direct interaction time. The median direct interaction time was 633 minutes. Associations between numbers of minutes reported with NBME scores, clerkship satisfaction, and level of interest in OBGYN before and after rotation were small and not statistically significant. No difference in clerkship satisfaction was found between students reporting minutes versus no minutes.


The low participation rate increases the likelihood of reporting bias in which motivated students were more likely to participate. Documentation of the precise number of minutes daily was also subject to student motivation. In this small study, no statistical association was found between the number of minutes reported with test scores or clerkship satisfaction.

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