The Effect of a Shortened OB/GYN Clerkship on Student Performance and Perception of Quality

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PURPOSE:To examine medical student performance and perception of clerkship quality during the shortened, third-year OB/GYN rotation.BACKGROUND:As medical school curricula evolve, core clinical clerkships often become shortened to allow more time for career exploration and other professional development. There is conflicting data regarding the impact of duration of clerkships on student performance, and little is known about the impact of shortened clerkships on student satisfaction.METHODS:We collected data from NBME subject exam scores and clerkship evaluation scores for third-year clerkships over three academic years. In years 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, students had traditional clerkship lengths. In 2016-2017, clerkship durations were shortened by 25%. Analysis of variance was conducted to examine the effect of academic year on mean NBME scores and student evaluation scores.RESULTS:There was no significant difference in mean OB/GYN NBME scores between students participating in the traditional vs. shortened clerkship (mean score 79.7±8.1 in 2014-2015, 79.7±6.8 in 2015-2016, and 79.8±7.0 in 2016-2017; P=.991). Student perception of quality of the OB/GYN clerkship decreased with the shortened clerkships; however, these differences were not statistically significant (4.0±0.9 in 2014-2015, 4.0±0.9 in 2015-2016, and 3.8±0.9 in 2016-2017; P=.074). By comparison, other clerkships experienced an increase in perception of quality over the same time-period.DISCUSSION:A shortened OB/GYN student clerkship does not appear to adversely affect objective performance on the rotation; however, medical student perception of quality of the rotation did trend towards lower clerkship scores.

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