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The "parallel curriculum" of medical students of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG)

The extra-curricular activities carried out by medical students with the intent to supplement their qualification and increase their practical experience - distant and free from academic control - make up the so-called "parallel curriculum". The objective of this paper was to study this "parallel curriculum" of students of the School of Medicine of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) during the first semester of 2004. Two hundred and thirty-two students were interviewed applying a structured questionnaire divided into 10 sections. This questionnaire evaluated extra-curricular activities such as: service in on-duty infirmaries and out-patient departments; participation in projects, study groups, clinical discussion groups; extension activities and publications. Each student answered with regard to the current semester (the first semester of 2004) and to the previous one, (the second semester of 2003). Results showed the "parallel curriculum" to be a reality for most of the students: 82.5% developed extra-curricular activities, with a mean of 3.4 per student, dedicating on the average 8.2 hours per week to these activities. Extension activities ranged in the first place, followed by participation in projects and duty service. The main motivations for developing these activities were achieving more practical experience and improving the curriculum.

Education, Medical; Curriculum; Education, Graduate; Schools, Medical

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