Medical students' views on training in intellectual disabilities

Burge, Philip; Ouellette-Kuntz, Hélène; Isaacs, Barry; Lunsky, Yona
April 2008
Canadian Family Physician;Apr2008, Vol. 54 Issue 4, p568
Academic Journal
OBJECTIVE To examine undergraduate medical training in the field of intellectual disabilities (ID) from the perspective of clinical clerks. DESIGN Cross-sectional self-administered survey. SETTING Clerkship rotations at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont, and the University of Toronto in Ontario in 2006. PARTICIPANTS A total of 196 upper-year undergraduate medical students (clerks). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Contact with people with ID, training in the field of ID, perceptions of current training in ID, and views on ways to improve the curriculum in the area of ID. RESULTS Most students (85.6%) had received some didactic and clinical training in managing patients with ID, but most of these (93.3%) believed that curriculum enhancements, especially more contact with patients with ID and more time in the curriculum for training in care of people with ID, were necessary. CONCLUSION This study found that the curriculum enhancements long recommended by experts in the field of ID were also desired by clinical clerks. This finding adds considerable weight to the recommendation that improvements in training in ID should be incorporated into undergraduate medical education programs.


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