Process Documentation of Community Diagnosis Posting in a Teaching Medical Institution: Learning the Process of Community Based Learning of Medical Undergraduates
Author:Nishanthini Natarajan, Shib Sekhar Datta, Hema priya S., Nitesh Mangal
Keywords:Community based learning, Community postings, Medical students, Village health survey
Abstract:"Introduction: Sensitizing medical undergraduates about rural health through village health survey during their posting in Community Medicine has the potential to trigger active learning by medical students. The students are more exposed to real scenario in the community, which is rare in hospital based learning. Objectives: To document the community diagnosis posting of medical undergraduates in a teaching medical institution and understand the process of learning of medical undergraduates. Methodology: Present series of community diagnosis postings were organized in nearby villages of a tertiary care teaching hospital in Pondicherry during Jan-June 2014. The students performed village transect walk, village health survey with pre-decided themes, focus group discussion followed by organization of a health camp with prior permission from the institution and village authorities. They were asked to submit a well drafted report highlighting glimpses of the posting to trigger their documentation skills. Results: Students participated actively during the village health survey. Students experienced learning being and within the community. They were inclined towards self-directed learning which in turn triggered their critical thinking and innovative culture. Students were able to appreciate importance of demography in epidemiological research and felt rural health needs. They also learnt the local language. Students learned about different research methodology through hands-on experience and were exposed to various computer and statistical softwares. Their attendance also increased in subsequent classes. The students understood importance of communication skills by maintaining good rapport with villagers. Their organizing skills, leadership qualities and documentations skills improved drastically followed the postings. Conclusion: It is possible to sensitize medical students to rural health through community diagnosis postings. Involving students to community health is the need of the hour to encourage active learning and trigger their leadership and organizing qualities, in addition to developing their documentation skills."