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Curricular Guidelines and Medical Education: Expectations of First Year Medical Students at a Higher Education Institution

Maria Alexandra de Carvalho Meireles Cássia do Carmo Pires Fernandes Lorena Souza e Silva About the authors


Students’ perspectives, disappointments and achievements significantly affect their learning process and the way they perceive the profession. This study evaluates the relationship between the New National Curricular Guidelines for Medicine Courses, implemented in 2014, and the expectations of first year students of a Medicine course of a private Higher Education Institution in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, regarding their medical training. The study was carried out using quantitative and qualitative methods, based on the application of questionnaires that addressed aspects such as the student’s profile, initial motivations and expectations of their academic training, futures plans and projects in relation to the profession, and knowledge about The National Curricular Guidelines for the Medicine Course. The results for the profile of these students indicated a predominance of female students, from the interior of the state of Minas Gerais, in the 18 to 20 year age group, who entered the institution through the vestibular exam having previously taken the National Secondary Education Examination (ENEM). The main motivations for choosing medicine as an undergraduate course included personal and vocational skills, and the opportunity for personal fulfillment. The expectations of the academic training included working in a hospital context during the initial years of the course, and the desire to practice at different levels of health care, promoting recovery and rehabilitation. The postgraduation projects of the students included medical residency, professional competence, work-life balance, and becoming medical specialists/subspecialists. In terms of overall vision, the students declared that they were satisfied with their graduation course, pointing out just a few areas where the learning/teaching process was lacking. The majority of students in the first period (56%) were unfamiliar with the DCNs of 2001 and 2014, and the majority of the students in the second period (54.8%) reported knowing only the 2014 guidelines, with the college being indicated as the main source of information on the new DCNs. The students’ expectations were, on the whole, in line with the principles, fundamentals and purposes of the medical training provided for in the new DCNs of the course in terms of the main competences and general abilities of the medical training, such as Integral Health Care, Health Education, and Health Management, as well as on the new dimensions addressed in these guidelines. However, some points of disagreement were observed, such as the lack of intention to become general practitioners or to focus their training on primary care, which is recommended in the guidelines; the intention to take care of their own mental health, also recommended in the new guidelines; and a certain resistance to the inclusion of new disciplines and new active learning methodologies as opposed to valuing traditional teaching methods.

Guidelines; Medical Education; Medicine

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