An exploration of students’ learning needs regarding the CanMEDS-role Health Advocate
MetadataShow full item record
Background/aim: The CanMEDS-role Health Advocate has been an important but undervalued part of the medical curriculum. There is a need for better integration of this role in the medical curriculum of the Utrecht University. The objective of this study was to gain insight into the learning needs of medical students regarding the CanMEDS-role Health Advocate and to research if Community-engaged medical education could be a fitting base for the new curriculum. Method: This qualitative interview study utilised aspects from grounded theory. Six interviews were conducted with fifth- and sixth-year students of the Utrecht University medical program. The interviews were transcribed verbatim, forming the dataset. A thematic analysis was used to identify, analyse and report on patterns in the data. Results: Four themes emerged from the data concerning the students’ learning needs; (1) Retention of knowledge, (2) Practical skills (3) Students’ competency and (4) Educational methods. With regard to Community-engaged medical education, attitude towards Community-engaged medical education appeared as a fifth theme. Conclusion: This study highlights a deficit in knowledge retention on health advocacy themes among fifth- and sixth-year medical students, a need for more practical examples, more skills training throughout the program, and more opportunities to apply Health Advocate skills during their clerkships. The results suggest that the learning needs of the students of the Utrecht medical program could be fulfilled by instituting Community-engaged medical education within the curriculum.