Danish doctors' reactions to 'internationalization' in clinical training in a public university hospital

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OBJECTIVE: From 2012 to 2015, two Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and two Departments of Pediatrics at the University of Copenhagen implemented an English medium international project. The project allowed international students to work in pairs with local Danish speaking students in a clinical setting. The student cohort was supported by Danish doctors who were responsible for student-pair supervision in English and, ultimately, patient care. Drawing on survey responses of 113 Danish doctors, this study considers the doctors' overall evaluation of the program and their perception of the international students' knowledge, skills and attitudes compared with local students.

RESULTS: The Danish doctors rated the international and local students comparable in respect to professional commitment (p = 0.347), academic level (p = 0.134), and English proficiency (p = 0.080). The Danish doctors rated the international students significantly lower than the local students regarding communication with Danish doctors, other hospital staff, and patients (p < 0.001 in all cases). Ninety percent of the doctors involved in the project supported continuing working with internationalization if it included mixed pairs of students and a Danish doctor assigned each day to be exclusively responsible for student supervision. Language barriers for international medical students could be overcome but required substantial faculty support.

Original languageEnglish
Article number411
JournalBMC Research Notes
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Adult, Clinical Competence/standards, Communication, Denmark, Education, Medical/standards, Female, Gynecology/education, Hospitals, Public, Hospitals, University, Humans, Internationality, Male, Obstetrics/education, Pediatrics/education, Physicians/statistics & numerical data, Students, Medical/statistics & numerical data, Surveys and Questionnaires

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