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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Effects of enrollment in a student-run free clinic elective on third year clerkship evaluations and grades

  • Author(s): Martinez, Armando
  • et al.

We retrospectively examined the association between enrollment in the student-run free clinic elective and University of California-San Diego (UCSD) medical student performance on third-year clinical rotations between 2012 and 2017. Free clinic participation was examined both as a binary variable and based on the total number of units taken (2, 4, and >4). Student performance was assessed using a standardized evaluation rubric that included the following seven categories for every rotation: medical knowledge (MK), clinical reasoning (CR), data gathering skills (DGS), communication of clinical data and medical information (CCD), interpersonal communication skills and humanisitc qualities (ICS), professionalism (PRO), and potential as a resident in the discipline (POT). Evaluation scores were analyzed individually and as a composite score across each rotation discipline as well as chronologicall over the school year. We found that enrollment in the free clinic elective had statistically significant associations with third year rotation evaluations and grades, which differed by clerkship. These findings show a novel method to assess the impact of medical school electives, particularly those with clinical exposure.

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