Confidence in clinical practice of chinese medicine degree graduates 1 year after graduation: A pilot study: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

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Background: The issue of transition from student to practitioner of Chinese medicine (CM) in Australia and other Western countries has received little formal attention. Workforce studies, while not up to date nationally in Australia, suggest that the majority of CM practitioners practice as sole practitioners or in small practices. Data from the state of Victoria suggest that a significant proportion of the CM workforce is relatively new to the profession. It is not known how many graduates successfully enter the workforce and importantly, remain in it. Objectives: An initial survey of final-year bachelor degree CM students in Australian education institutions in 2008 suggested that students felt "somewhat" prepared for clinical practice in eight dimensions of clinical practice. The authors conducted a follow-up study to this initial one, seeking to investigate perceptions of confidence in CM graduates in various aspects of clinical practice within the first year of completing their degree. Methods: A content-validated survey based on the previous study was distributed to a subset of 30 graduates from the original study cohort who had indicated a willingness to participate in this follow-up survey. Results: There were a small number of responses (n=12), limiting the usefulness of the quantitative questions. However, some interesting qualitative outcomes from the long-answer part of the survey support findings from the previous study that recent practitioners would like more clinical experience, as well as support in developing their business and interpersonal skills, and the option to participate in a professional mentoring arrangement. Conclusions: Results of this study suggest that both education providers and professional associations may be able to play important and complementary roles in assisting CM students to successfully transition into the workforce. If CM is to continue to develop as a profession in Australia, it will be important that more attention be given to how to assist new graduates to successfully transition into and remain in clinical practice. © Copyright 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-280
Number of pages11
JournalJ. Altern. Complement. Med.
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • article
  • Australia
  • Chinese medicine
  • clinical practice
  • cohort analysis
  • commercial phenomena
  • communication skill
  • content validity
  • female
  • follow up
  • health survey
  • human
  • male
  • medical education
  • medical student
  • outcome assessment
  • participatory research
  • perception
  • physician
  • pilot study
  • priority journal
  • qualitative analysis
  • quantitative analysis
  • questionnaire
  • validation process
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Career Choice
  • Education, Medical
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional
  • Mentors
  • Pilot Projects
  • Self Efficacy
  • Students, Medical
  • Victoria


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