The value of a core clinical rotation in urology for medical students

Premal Patel, Jasmir G Nayak, Thomas B McGregor


Introduction: In 2013, our institution underwent a change to the undergraduate medical curriculum whereby a clinical urology rotation became mandatory. In this paper, we evaluated the perceived utility and value of this change in the core curriculum.

Methods: Third year medical students, required to complete a mandatory 1-week clinical urology rotation, were asked to complete a survey before and after their rotation. Fourth year medical students, not required to complete this rotation, were also asked to complete a questionnaire. Chi-squared and Fisher’s exact test were used for data analysis.

Results: In total, 108 third year students rotated through urology during the study period. Of these, 66 (61%) completed the prerotation survey and 54 (50%) completed the post-rotation survey. In total, there were 110 fourth year students. Of these, 44 (40%) completed the questionnaire. After completing their mandatory rotations, students felt more comfortable managing and investigating common urological problems, such as hematuria and renal colic. Students felt they had a better understanding of how to insert a Foley catheter and felt comfortable independently inserting a Foley catheter. Importantly, students felt they knew when to consult urology and were also more likely to consider a career in urology. Compared to fourth year students, third year students felt urology was an important component to a family medicine practice and felt they had a better understanding of when to consult urology.

Conclusion: The introduction of a mandatory urology rotation for undergraduate medical students leads to a perceived improvement in fundamental urological knowledge and skill set of rotating students. This mandatory rotation provides a valuable experience that validates its inclusion.

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