Senior Student Goal Setting During Subinternship: A Mixed-Methods Study

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5 Scopus citations


Background: New developments in Subinternship curricula attempt to establish self-directed learning skills that will translate into the 1st year of residency. However, we know little about how well senior medical students' self-directed learning goals match with what is expected of them in residency. Purposes: We designed a mixed-methods study to examine the goals set by senior students at Georgia Health Sciences University on Pediatric Subinternship and to determine how those goals relate to the 6 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) competencies. Methods: We used an iterative process to categorize self-directed learning goals on Pediatric Subinternships (n = 188 goals generated by 57 senior students) by (a) the 6 ACGME competencies and (b) general or specific goals. We used tests of association and multivariate modeling to compare goal categories by clinical site and time of year. Results: There were 56.3% of goals addressing patient care. Professionalism and systems-based practice goals were rare. Of the goals, 72% were general, but goals written by students at the newborn nursery and neonatal intensive care unit sites were significantly more likely to be specific than goals written by students on the general inpatient subinternship. Conclusions: The overwhelming majority of senior medical student goals on a Pediatric Subinternship are general and related to patient care. Students may need assistance with developing more specific goals in all 6 competencies. Our findings suggest that understanding and incorporating students' learning goals may be important for enhancing the potential effectiveness of transition-to-residence curricula. © 2014

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-229
Number of pages5
JournalTeaching and Learning in Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • goal setting
  • self-directed learning
  • subinternship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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