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Education Research International
Volume 2012, Article ID 241874, 6 pages
Research Article

A Pilot Study of Real-Time Experience Sampling Method to Evaluate Student Engagement in a Global Health Rotation

1Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, P.O. Box 208063, Suite 302 FMB, New Haven, CT 06520-8063, USA
2Section of Infectious Diseases and Global Health, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, 5841 South Maryland Avenue, MC 5065 Room L-330, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
3General Surgery Department at Emory University and H120 Emory University Hospital, 1364 Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
4Department of Medical Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, 232 Kroeber Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
5Dechert LLP, 2929 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
6Committee on Clinical & Translational Science, Center for Health and the Social Sciences, University of Chicago, 5841 S. Maryland Avenue, MC 1000, Rm M210A, Chicago, IL 60637, USA
7Section of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, 5841 S. Maryland Avenue, MC 2007, AMB W216, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

Received 17 November 2011; Revised 17 February 2012; Accepted 6 March 2012

Academic Editor: Alex W. H. Chan

Copyright © 2012 Asima Ahmad et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


International experiences are increasingly popular among medical students, but few have been rigorously evaluated. We used ESM to characterize the experience of medical students participating in the one-month University of Chicago Geographic Medicine Scholars Program (GMSP) in Hyderabad, India. Participants wore watches programmed to randomly beep eight times daily, during the first and third weeks. When alerted, students reported their activity and rated their level of engagement and emotion in booklets. All 11 student participants responded to 59% of 816 alerts. 41% of beeps occurred during GMSP formal structured activities (i.e., lecture, clinic). Students reported structured activities to be more interesting (6.05 versus 4.14; P<0.001), more important to their future goals (6.48 versus 5.71; P<0.001), more challenging (3.75 versus 2.48; P<0.001), and more enjoyable (6.08 versus 5.36; P<0.001) than unstructured activities. Our results show that future global health efforts should augment the use of structured activities.