Objective: The objective was to determine final-year students' self-perceptions of readiness for transition to practice, professional identity, and experiences of interprofessional clinical practice. Findings will inform the clinical education curriculum.
Methods: We used repeated measures individual case studies with a self-selecting sample from the total final-year student population at 2 chiropractic and 2 osteopathic programs offered by Australian universities. Cases were not compared. Amalgamated data are presented.
Results: There were interviews with students in 2 chiropractic programs (n = 15) and 2 osteopathic programs (n = 13). Perceptions indicate that clinical education in university health clinics prepares them for transition to practice through scaffolded supervision of their consultations with reasonably healthy patients. Students perceived that other clinics (community clinics or private practices) prepared their readiness for transition to practice substantially better. Community clinics and private practices allowed students to consult people from diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds and treat complex health care issues, and the model of supervision allows students a degree of autonomy. Students lacked a clear understanding of the behaviors that demonstrate their professionalism. Interprofessional learning activities were ad hoc and opportunistic.
Conclusion: University health clinics, private practices, and community clinics prepare students for transition to practice in different ways. Most students feel prepared. There is a clear indication that a focused discussion related to the development of students' understanding of competencies related to professionalism and another related to interprofessional clinical education in curriculum are needed.
Author keywords: Chiropractic, Education, Clinical Competence, Interprofessional Relations, Osteopathy
Author affiliations: NGH: Australian Chiropractic College, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia; LH, KMM: School of Health and Human Sciences, Southern Cross University, Lismore, New South Wales, Australia
Corresponding author: NGH—firstname.lastname@example.org
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