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Journal of Biomedical Education
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 318598, 5 pages
Research Article

Understanding Student Experiences in a Near-Peer Resident Shadowing Program

1The Center for Research in Applied Measurement and Evaluation, University of Alberta, Dvorkin Mailroom 2G2.07, Walter MacKenzie Center, 8440-112 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2J2
2Department of Surgery, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2J2

Received 5 August 2013; Revised 3 May 2014; Accepted 7 May 2014; Published 18 May 2014

Academic Editor: Gary Velan

Copyright © 2014 Simon R. Turner 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.


Introduction. The preparation of medical students for clerkship has been criticized, both in terms of students’ ability to understand their new role as clinical trainees and in their ability to carry out that role. To begin to address this gap, this paper reports the experiences of students in a shadowing program aimed at enhancing the preparedness of medical students for clinical training. The study examined a novel program, the Resident-Medical Student Shadowing Program, in which first-year medical students at the University of Alberta shadowed a first-year resident during clinical duties over the course of eight months. Methods. A study was conducted to assess the experiences of 83 first-year medical student participants who shadowed a first-year resident intermittently for one year. Student and resident participants’ experiences were explored using semistructured interviews. Results. Students and residents experiences indicate that participation increased students’ understanding of the clinical environment and their role within it and introduced them to skills and knowledge needed to perform that role. Students reported that a close relationship with their resident enhanced their learning experience. Conclusion. This study demonstrates that a low-cost program in which first-year students shadow residents may be a useful tool for helping prepare students for clerkship.