An increase in the number of medical students in Israel has resulted in a relative shortage of clinical teaching sites, a problem being faced in many jurisdictions around the world. It has been shown that the rural setting is adequate for teaching internal medicine1. Yoseftal Hospital (YH)2, a rural community hospital3 with 25 beds for medicine was chosen as a site for the internal medicine core clerkship. The hospital is located in a remote town of 40 000 inhabitants, 230 km from the closest tertiary medical center. Other sites were at the major university teaching hospital.
Groups of six self-selected students were allocated to take their 10 week clerkship in internal medicine at YH. The daily schedule allocated two students to the emergency department, and four participated in teaching rounds on the ward. In the afternoons, all students participated in tutorials. Each of the students was required to clerk 12 patients during the rotation. Case work-ups were submitted electronically to one of the authors (MA), graded and discussed with the student.
Evaluation of the students was performed with a personal questionnaire completed by the teachers at YH and at the university hospital, and graded on the American NBME Shelf examinations4. Evaluations were compared with those of students at the main university hospital (Table 1). P-values were calculated using a t-test for each year and for the total numbers of students. No significant differences were found (p=1) between YH students and those at main university sites.
Table 1: Comparison of students' test results and evaluations according to location of clerkship
Medical students at YH performed as well as those at the main campus, indicating that such an approach could resolve the problem of lack of clinical teaching locations in Israel.
Michael L Alkan MD1, Tova Arad MD2
1Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva
2Department of Medicine, Yoseftal Hospital, Eilat, Israel
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2. Clalit Mushlam. "Joseftal" Medical Center. (Online) 2010. Available: http://www.clalit-global.co.il/en/yoseftal_medical_center.html (Accessed 22 April 2013).
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4. NBME. NBME home page. (Online) 2013. Available: http://www.nbme.org