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Medical students’ views of clinical environments.

Roberts, Ruby; Cleland, Jennifer; Strand, Pia; Johnston, Peter


Jennifer Cleland

Pia Strand

Peter Johnston


Monitoring the quality of clinical learning environments (CLEs) is immensely important in medical education. Objective indicators of the quality of the CLE can be used to measure learner perceptions and to inform educational improvements; however, many established tools were not designed for use in clinical settings and are not theoretically grounded. Our aim was to apply a new tool to the new context of a UK setting to explore the perceptions of senior medical students in a number of different CLEs. The four-factor Undergraduate Clinical Education Environment Measure (UCEEM) was translated into English, and used to gather fina-year medical students’ perceptions of four different specialties they had rotated through: Emergency Medicine (EM), General Surgery (GS), Medicine for the Elderly (ME), and Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G). The UCEEM was distributed in paper form. Students were asked to complete it in relation to two of the four specialties. Year-5 medical students (n = 132) returned a completed UCEEM. For opportunities to learn in and through work experience EM was reported the most positively. ME was perceived to be the most prepared for student entry. Students reported being well received by staff and made to feel part of the team within GS, EM and ME, but less so in O&G. UCEEM appears to be a useful tool for evaluating medical student perceptions of CLEs. Theoretically robust, UCEEM is straightforward to administer and to score. It has the potential to be used by time-pressured educators to collect baseline and comparative data for evaluation and improvement purposes.


ROBERTS, R., CLELAND, J., STRAND, P. and JOHNSTON, P. 2018. Medical students' views of clinical environments. The clinical teacher [online], 15(4), pages 325-330. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 30, 2017
Online Publication Date Aug 23, 2017
Publication Date Aug 31, 2018
Deposit Date Jan 29, 2020
Publicly Available Date Feb 18, 2020
Journal The Clinical Teacher
Print ISSN 1743-4971
Electronic ISSN 1743-498X
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 4
Pages 325-330
Keywords Clinical learning environments (CLEs); Medical education; Educational improvements; Indicators; Quality
Public URL


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