An immersive orientation programme to improve medical student integration and well-being

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Short, B
Lambeth, L
David, M
Ryall, MA
Hood, C
Pahalawatta, U
Dawson, A
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Background: Multiple common challenges exist for medical students transitioning to regional clinical placements, including a relative paucity of well-being skills required for the promotion of work–life integration. Beginning Education at Central Coast Hospitals (BEACCHES) is an immersive orientation programme aimed at negotiating this transition and promoting student well-being through improved social connectedness. The programme was evaluated with the objectives of understanding the most highly valued and effective components. Method: BEACCHES is offered to medical students commencing regional clinical placement at the Central Coast Medical School, Australia. The programme emphasises teamwork and self care, and promotes multidirectional interaction among peers, staff and the local community. A specific well-being forum is an essential component of the programme. An evaluation of the inaugural programme was performed using semi-structured surveys with a mixed-method analysis of quantitative data (pre- and post-programme knowledge and confidence scores) and qualitative data (emergent themes). Results: Knowledge acquisition significantly improved across all domains. Importantly, this included items that could positively impact on well-being, including: knowledge of psychological first aid (p = 0.01), student support services (p < 0.01), connectedness with fellow students and staff (p < 0.01), and self-management of health and workload (p = 0.01). Qualitative analysis also revealed substantial support for the importance of interaction with peers and staff outside of the formal education setting. According to the Australian Medical Association, medical schools‘ responsibilities include incorporating curricula designed to improve stress management. Conclusion: Our survey results indicated that BEACCHES has the potential to foster student well-being through targeted orientation and engagement to enhance connectedness. We highlight the value of embedding an interactive experiential programme for students beginning a new regional clinical placement.

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Clinical Teacher

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Clinical sciences

Curriculum and pedagogy

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Short, B; Lambeth, L; David, M; Ryall, MA; Hood, C; Pahalawatta, U; Dawson, A, An immersive orientation programme to improve medical student integration and well-being, Clinical Teacher, 2019, 16 (4), pp. 323-328