Author(s): Whittle SR, Eaton DG
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Abstract CONTEXT: Changes to the style of medical teaching will place a greater responsibility on individual medical students to manage their own learning, highlighting the need for students to develop good so-called 'transferable' skills at an early stage in their undergraduate career. OBJECTIVES: To assess the attitudes of first year undergraduates towards transferable skills, and investigate the gender difference in these attitudes. To assess the contribution of their first year course to skills development. SUBJECTS: First year students, enrolled on a traditional-style course. METHOD: A questionnaire asking the students to consider: (a) the importance of named transferable skills for medicine; (b) their own ability in these areas; and (c) the influence of their first year course. RESULTS: All students, irrespective of gender, regarded transferable skills as very important to medicine, rating organizational skills and self-learning skills as most important. Overall, students have a high level of confidence in their own skills. Male students rated their overall level of skills more highly than women. In particular they rated their information handling, managing self-learning and technical skills more highly. Students feel that their first year course has enhanced their skills in most areas. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that students will feel equipped to succeed in a learning system which places the onus on them to take responsibility for their own learning. They clearly believe that they have the necessary skills for independent learning. The study highlights the need to enhance students' self-evaluation skills.
This article was published in Med Educ
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy