The following is a summary of “Community action projects: community-engaged quality improvement for medical students,” published in the June 2023 issue of Primary Care by Coster et al.
Healthcare Quality Improvement (QI) is essential for medical students. Limited research on best educational methods. Student experiences in 2 CAPs: GPCAP (pre-pandemic) & Digi-CAP (remote, COVID-19) is required. Researchers performed a retrospective study to explore the experiences of medical students participating in two versions of a Community Action Project (CAP) (GPCAP and Digi-CAP) during COVID-19.
They interviewed volunteers from two student cohorts involved in QI initiatives using semi-structured interviews. The transcriptions underwent independent coding by two researchers and were analyzed through thematic analysis.
The results showed 16 students’ interviews and experiences with completing their CAP varied, but engagement and successful learning were linked to specific themes in both QI CAP projects. These themes included finding purpose and meaning in QI projects, being prepared for responsibility and service-driven learning, emphasizing the value of supportive partnerships throughout the project, and creating a sustainable impact.
Investigators concluded that community-based QI projects can be an effective way for medical students to learn QI skills and make a sustainable impact on local community outcomes.