The primary mission of medical sciences universities is to provide opportunities for students to acquire and enhance their knowledge, attitudes, and skills. The goal is to develop the necessary competence in students, aligning them with societal expectations of becoming specialized professionals who, upon entering society, can perform specialized tasks while adhering to professional principles. Their aim is to contribute to the improvement of public health (1). Achieving this mission necessitates close collaboration between faculties and medical training centers. Recognizing the significance of this collaboration, a substantial structural change took place in the country's healthcare system in 1364 when all educational institutions responsible for medical sciences education transitioned from the Ministry of Higher Education to become part of the Ministry of Health, subsequently known as the Ministry of Health, Treatment, and Medical Education (2,3).
Students across various medical sciences fields, being the future specialized workforce of the healthcare system, bring with them unique perspectives, attitudes, ethics, and behaviors shaped by their life experiences. These values and expectations significantly influence their initial perceptions as they enter the hospital environment (4). Many medical students encounter challenges when they are exposed to new conditions in medical settings without adequate preparation. This can lead to frustration and reduced motivation in performing assigned tasks, ultimately impacting the quality of education and, subsequently, the quality of healthcare services (5). Research results indicate that some medical students lack the necessary skills and competencies upon entering society and healthcare service environments. Contributing factors include insufficient coordination between theoretical and clinical courses, unclear clinical education objectives, and high-stress environments like hospitals (6). Solutions to address these issues involve a need to review clinical education programs and methods, as well as a focus on the quality of pre-clinical education to better prepare students for their hospital experiences (7).
Orientation training courses, often referred to as socialization courses, play a vital role in helping students from various disciplines navigate the challenges they encounter when entering the hospital environment. These courses should encompass a comprehensive range of essential and relevant subjects, tailored to meet the specific needs of the students (4). Research findings underscore the significance of educational courses designed to address the unique requirements of new students as they enter the hospital setting (8). Effective implementation of orientation training courses enhances students' self-confidence in performing clinical skills and making decisions, ultimately contributing to their professional satisfaction (5).
While the significance of developing educational programs cannot be overstated, any oversight during the program development stages can yield undesirable outcomes in the field of education. This article delves into the experience of the Afzalipur Medical Education Center in Kerman, specifically focusing on the planning of socialization training courses for medical science students, a venture undertaken in 2019.
Problem design and general needs assessment
Until 2019, with the commencement of each new academic year and the arrival of diverse medical science students at Afzalipur Medical Education Center, a brief and generic orientation course lasting 2 to 3 hours was conducted under the purview of the center's Vice President of Education. However, prompted by patient and staff grievances stemming from medical and paramedical students' lack of knowledge in certain areas, there arose a need for the development of more comprehensive and suitable content in the form of socialization training courses within the hospital.
Needs assessment of the target group
To assess the requirements and determine suitable educational topics tailored to students from various fields as target demographics, a series of three focused independent group discussions were conducted. These sessions included 15 members of the center's management and leadership team, academic staff physicians from the center, representatives from the university's Office of Education, and student representatives, each representing different disciplines. Additionally, the experiences of other universities of medical sciences across the country were leveraged during this phase. Following the compilation of results, a questionnaire was developed and subjected to two rounds of Delphi consensus, involving the center's management and leadership team and physicians. Ultimately, the training course subjects were categorized into seven general modules based on the needs assessment summary. These modules encompass: 1. Familiarization with the Center, 2. Medical and Professional Ethics and Conduct, 3. Holistic Medicine with an Emphasis on Health Promotion, 4. Principles of Health and Safety, 5. Risk, Disaster, and Crisis Management, 6. Development of Individual and Group Skills, 7. Enhancement of Specialized and Professional Competencies.
Determining educational goals and strategies
Following the identification of the educational needs for each group of students and the specification of the subjects and courses corresponding to each student's field of study, the third stage involved establishing overarching and specific goals for each course and educational topic. These objectives encompassed cognitive, emotional, and psychomotor domains. In the fourth stage, which pertains to educational strategies, the content of the educational program and the instructional methods were delineated. This was done with the aim of enhancing the likelihood of achieving the educational objectives, and it was accomplished through focused group discussion sessions.
Implementation and evaluation of training courses
In the fifth phase of implementing the educational program, educational experts from the center's vice-chancellor of education collaborated with professors and student representatives to formulate the course schedule. Additionally, meetings involving the center's management team, including the Chairman, Director, Vice President of Education, and Vice President of Center Treatment, were conducted to ensure optimal course arrangements and delivery. For the evaluation phase, Kirkpatrick's model was employed to assess the effectiveness of the educational program at two levels: reaction and learning.
This study involved the development of a curriculum for orientation courses aimed at medical students embarking on their hospital internships and clinical rotations. The curriculum was created in a comprehensive manner, with active involvement from the relevant stakeholders. The implementation of such socialization courses, featuring relevant and contemporary content, serves as an effective bridge connecting theoretical and clinical education within the realm of medical science education. This approach ensures that theoretical knowledge acquired within the confines of academic institutions is seamlessly integrated into the clinical environment. The findings of this study can offer valuable insights for other educational and medical centers across the country.