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Original Research

Correlations between community size and student perceptions of value

Submitted: 14 October 2016
Revised: 21 March 2017
Accepted: 26 March 2017
Published: 22 July 2017

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Author(s) : Anderson SM, Simanton E.

Susan AndersonEdward Simanton

Citation: Anderson SM, Simanton E.  Correlations between community size and student perceptions of value. Rural and Remote Health (Internet) 2017; 17: 4246. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au/articles/subviewnew.asp?ArticleID=4246 (Accessed 25 September 2017). DOI: https://doi.org/10.22605/RRH4246

ABSTRACT

Introduction:††The purpose of this study was to determine if medical studentsí feeling of being valued was correlated to community size. The study, conducted in several communities in South Dakota, examined studentsí feeling of value relating to attending physicians, healthcare teams and patients.
Methods:††Student value items were added to student satisfaction surveys sent out to students at the end of their primary clinical year and data collected from two graduating classes of students (n=114). Student responses were grouped by clinical campus and mean responses by community size were calculated. Additionally, student encounter logs were reviewed for study participants to gauge participation levels during clinical encounters.
Results: The degree to which students felt valued by their physician attending, the healthcare team and the patients decreased consistently as community size increased. Differences were statistically significant between students in the smallest and largest communities. Additionally, students in the community of 15†000 felt significantly more valued than students in the community of 170†000. Furthermore, there also appears to be a relationship between the percentage of participation in patient care by students and community size. Students in the smaller, rural communities participated at a higher percentage rather than observing.
Conclusions:††There appears to be a relationship between community size and the extent to which students feel value. The degree to which students felt valued decreased consistently as community size increased. Differences were statistically significant between students in the smallest communities and the two largest communities. Students in the smaller, rural communities participated at a higher percentage. Additional studies are needed to address whether students participate more as a result of feeling valued, or whether participation leads to an enhanced perception of value by students.

Key words: community size, education, student perceptions, student satisfaction, USA, value.

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