Objective: To develop and evaluate the Patient Care Project (PCP), an integrated patient-centred, community-based learning activity, implemented at the University of Hong Kong since 1992. Design: The PCP, a required course in the first 2 preclinical years, is structured into four learning cycles over 9 months. Each cycle consists of a patient interview followed by a debriefing group tutorial. In-depth interviews with the same patient allow students to explore the impact of disease and patients' illness experience, as well as the contribution of the wider determinants of health to their condition. The debriefing tutorial frames empirical observations into theoretical models and its format reinforces habits of problem-based learning. The programme was evaluated using survey questionnaires completed by students, patients and tutors. Participants: 324 first- and second-year medical students. Results: Students, participating patients and tutors all rated the PCP positively in end-of-course evaluations. Specifically, 68% of students commented that the PCP had met all or most of its stated objectives, while there was nearly unanimous agreement among patients that students demonstrated understanding and empathy in the visits and interviews. Tutor appraisal of student performance also indicated the attainment of all stated aims and objectives overall. Conclusions: The PCP is a valuable contribution to community-based learning and the promotion of the patient-centred clinical method.
- Community-based medical education
- Patient-centred method
ASJC Scopus subject areas