OBJECTIVE: To describe a formal process designed to determine the nature and extent of change that may enhance the depth of student learning in the pre-professional, clinical chiropractic environment.
METHODS: Project teams in the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) School of Health Sciences and the Division of Chiropractic explored questions of clinical assessment in several health care disciplines of the School and the issue of implementing change in a manner that would be embraced by the clinicians who supervise student-learning in the clinical environment. The teams applied to RMIT for grant funding within the Learning and Teaching Investment Fund to support two proposed studies.
RESULTS: Both research proposals were fully funded and are in process. DISCUSSION: The genesis of this work is the discovery that the predominant management plan in the chiropractic teaching clinics is based on diagnostic reductionism. It is felt this is counter-productive to the holistic dimensions of chiropractic practice taught in the classroom and non-supportive of chiropractic's paradigm shift towards wellness. A need is seen to improve processes around student assessment in the contemporary work-integrated learning that is a prime element of learning within the clinical disciplines of the School of Health Sciences, including chiropractic.
CONCLUSION: Any improvements in the manner of clinical assessment within the chiropractic discipline will need to be accompanied by improvement in the training and development of the clinicians responsible for managing the provision of quality patient care by Registered Chiropractic Students.
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