Chinese medicine students' preparedness for clinical practice: An Australian survey: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

A. Moore, R. Canaway, K.A. O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Little is known about how prepared Chinese medicine (CM) students perceive themselves to enter the workforce. Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate perceptions of preparedness for clinical practice of final-year CM students in Australia. Design: The study design consisted of a written survey focusing on eight dimensions relating to practice: Interpersonal Skills, Confidence/Coping Skills, Professional Networks, Professional Practice Management, Professional Patient Management, Prevention, Holistic Care, and Self-Directed Learning. Part 1 of the survey required participants to choose from six possible responses on how well they believe their CM course has prepared them in relation to 41 statements about aspects of practice (1=very inadequately through to 6=very adequately). Part 2 consisted of nine open-ended questions. Study participants: The study participants were final-year Bachelor degree CM and acupuncture students from Australian universities and privately operated educational institutions. Analysis and main outcome measures: Part 1 of survey: mean scores on the eight dimensions of practice. Part 2 of survey: transcribed responses were imported into NVivo8. Each part of the questions was analyzed and grouped into broad themes. Results: Seventy-one (71) of one hundred and seven (71/107) invited students (average age 29.4 years± 7.4 years) participated in the survey conducted in 2008. Mean scores on eight dimensions of clinical practice were as follows: Interpersonal Skills 3.9 (±1.1), Confidence/Coping Skills 4.0 (±0.8), Professional Networks 4.2 (±0.8), Professional Practice Management 4.2 (±0.8), Professional Patient Management 4.7 (±0.7), Prevention 4.6 (±0.7), Holistic Care 4.4 (±0.7), and Self-Directed Learning 4.6 (±0.6). There was no significant difference in mean scores across gender. Responses to Part 2 indicated a range of suggestions on the strengths of educational courses and how transition to clinical practice could be facilitated. Conclusions: In general, CM students perceived themselves to be "somewhat adequately" or "adequately" prepared for various aspects of clinical practice. Survey results may help inform CM educators about how to better prepare students for entry into the workforce. © 2010, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-743
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • acupuncture
  • article
  • Australia
  • Chinese medicine
  • clinical practice
  • holistic care
  • learning
  • medical education
  • medical student
  • patient care
  • perception
  • priority journal
  • scoring system
  • skill
  • adult
  • clinical competence
  • female
  • human
  • information processing
  • male
  • questionnaire
  • self concept
  • standards
  • young adult
  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence
  • Data Collection
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional
  • Questionnaires
  • Self Concept
  • Students, Medical
  • Young Adult


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