We used questionnaires to study the present status of undergraduate clinical training at medical schools in Japan in February 1996. Completed questionnaires were returned by 81%(65) of 80 medical schools and approximately 54%(1, 328 clinical departments) of the schools. The results were as follows. Courses for early clinical exposure in the 1st or 2nd year were provided at 83% of the 65 schools; clinical clerkships in the 5th and 6th years were provided at 28%. Specific behavioral objectives for clinical training were clearly shown to students and teaching staff at 75% of schools. Clinical procedures that medical students were permitted to perform were listed and announced to students and teaching staffs at 66% of schools. Patients were informed and gave consent for clinical training of students at 77% of schools. Essential knowledge and skills of students were assessed before the start of clinical training at 40% of schools, and summative assessment was made at the end of the training at 72%. Training of clinical teaching staff for faculty development was conducted at 51% of schools. Eightynine percent of schools reported a shortage of clinical teaching staff. Similar results were obtained in the survey of clinical departments of university hospitals: most departments complained of a shortage of teaching staff, of students not being active, and of students not being competent to enter clinical training courses. To improve clinical training, the introduction of clinical clerkships and cooperation with community facilities outside universities were the main issues.
A questionnaire survey on clinical procedures performed by medical students on patients during undergraduate clinical training was conducted in february 1996. Responses were received from 1328 clinical departments of university cospitals at 80 medical schools. Basic clinical procedures that medical students were permitted to perform on patients were recommended by a committee of the Ministry of Health and Welfare. These procedures are divided into three categories: level 1; procedures that medical students are permitted to perform under the supervision of an instructor; level 2; procedures medical students are permitted to perform with supervision under certain conditions; and level 3; procedures for which medical students are generally limited to assisting instructors or to attending and observing patients. The status of performance of the procedures was investigated. Of level-1 procedures (36 procedures), 8 were performed by medical students at more than 80 % of university hospitals, 19 were performed at from 50% to 70%, 9 were performed at less than 50%. Of level-2 procedures (15 procedures), 8 were performed at from 55% to 79% of hospitals and 7 were performed at less than 50%. For level-3 procedures (15 procedures), medical students were permitted to assist and observe 4 procedures at from 82% to 86% of hospitals, 11 at from 50% to 79%, and 1 at40%. In addition, students were permitted to perform 13 level-3 procedures at from 10% to 44% of hospitals and to perform 3 at from 6% to 9%. In many clinical departments, other kinds of procedures specific to the departments were adopted. Teaching media, such as standardized patients' computer-assisted instruction models, and animal materials, were used, and facilities in the community cooperated in training. Respondents wrote many suggestions and opinions about the difficulties and concerns with the legality of students' performing clinical procedures, patients' consent or agreement, minimal essentials of clinical competence of students, the shortage of instructors, and the training and guidelines for instructors.
We surveyed in every medical university in Japan on how attitudes development is adopted in its medical educational curriculum so far. There are several universities which in some way have already adopted attitudes development into curriculum or teaching items. However, hours of lesson and the contents are so differed among them. Moreover, both evaluation of these lessons by trainees and judgement as far the educational effect by trainers are not programmed satisfactorily. Some universities complain of manpower shortage, difficulties of fixing curriculum, or shortage of total lesson hours, so that they say they cannot dare work on this attempt. But, there are still an increasing number of universities ready to start their programs, where education arranged by non-medical teachers, practical medical experience at the real front, the introduction of simulated patient (SP) into education, and so on are considerd to be carried out. Thus, we suppose it is time to have and share some guideline for adequate attitudes development education at this moment. And at the same time, a national system to encourage the medical education, including trainning SP, is urgently required to be planned.
To evaluate the learning process in a general medicine training program for skills used in minor outpatient surgery, we introduced a new educational program for knot-tying technique. Eleven 1st year residents were enrolled in the program. The program consisted of initial instruction by senior surgeons through a video system, continuous training with a phantom at weekly surgical conferences, and practical application in the operating room. We objectively evaluated the effectiveness of this program with our unique scoring system for tying which includes speed, form, and securityof the knots. The scores after 4 months, especially the speed score, were significantly, better than those at the beginning of the program (P<0.05), and the scores for form and security tended to be higher than those of 2nd-year residents. We conclude that this unique program for knot tying is effective for teaching proper techniques for tying tight and secure knots and may be used as a part of general medicine training program.
The combination of a decrease in the number of applicants and an increase in the amount of medical information will cause serious problems for medical colleges in the near future by inhibiting students' will to study. The only way to deal with this educational crisis seems to be to improve the teachers' will to teach.
The main purpose of basic clinical training for housestaff is to acquire the ability to be a primary physician who can properly manage acute medical problems, develop intimate bonds with patients, and provide them with continuous care. We emphasize the importance of training in the office, clinic, or patients' homes. Although residents have so far spent most of their clinical rotations in an inpatient setting, a training program that devotes substantial time to ambulatory care is indispensable to improve basic clinical training in primary care medicine.
We evaluated bedside learning in the department of pediatric surgery by conducting a questionnaire survey of senior medical students at Chiba University School of Medicine. We obtained responses from 70 of 95 students (74%). Although 84% of students responded by making lists of patients' problems. Many students indicated insufficient knowledge about diseases and insufficient technical skills for medical treatment as the reasons they could not solve these problems. This finding indicates that students do not have sufficient basic knowledge and clinical skills for bedside learning. These skills must be acquired and evaluated before bedside learning can be started.
The School of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, was founded in 1974 and had graduated 1, 561 students by 1994. From 1980 through 1987, 44% to 73% of graduates became hospital staff, 16% to 40% became university staff, and 0% to 8% became general practitioners. More than 80% of graduates did a 2-year residency (sotsugo-kenshu) at our university hospital and 40% completed a 6-year residency. Almost 10 years of postgraduate training was required to become an established medical practitioner. This length of time indicates that postgraduate training is the most important part of the medical career. About 80% of graduates earned doctor of philosophy (Ph. D.) degrees, whereas 93% became registered specialists, indicating that graduates tended to become specialists rather than to pursue Ph. D. degrees. This difference is more evident among female graduates: 85% became specialists whereas only 53% received a Ph. D. Most graduates considered the School of Medicine to have a good curriculum, but some younger graduates had complaints. The graduates chose their career specialties on the basis of their own interests and aptitudes. We should take these data into account to prepare a system of life-long education and learning.
A movable television camera for observing operations was constructed. The camera is attached to the end of a long, extendable arm that is supported by a column. The column stands on a wheeled cart. A television monitor is also placed on the cart. With this television camera, medical students can observe any operation, even if the surgical field is deep and narrow, in any operating room.