1 Shiraz Medical School, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Community Based Psychiatric Care Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Clinical Education Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Introduction: Teaching renal physiology for undergraduatemedical students in an understandable way using methods whichimprove their deep learning has always been a problem. In thisstudy, Early Clinical Exposure (ECE) was used in teaching renalphysiology for the second year medical students in Shiraz MedicalSchool. This article aims to introduce and develop this programand also measure the attitude of medical students toward ECE inlearning renal physiology.Methods: This is a mixed method study conducted on 120 secondyear undergraduate students. After performing the course, bothqualitative and quantitative methods were used for measuring theviewpoints of the students. In the qualitative part, 10 high rankmedical students were selected. These students participated inbrain storming sessions to express their opinion about the programbased on the strengths and weaknesses. For trustworthiness of thequalitative part, member check and peer check were done. In thequantitative part, a researcher-made questionnaire was used basedon the objectives of the program in a 4 point Likert scale. Thevalidity of questionnaire was determined by medical educationexperts and reliability was determined after a pilot study.Results: Based on the results of the quantitative part of the study,98 percent of the students stated that the ECE program wasgenerally a useful program. In the qualitative part, the students’comments were obtained. The benefits of the program weresummarized in 4 main themes. These themes are “understandingof renal physiology”, “Integration of basic and clinical knowledge”,“Improvement of attitude toward importance of physiology”, and“encouragement to study”. In response to the questions aboutnegetive aspects of this program in qualitative part, the two mainthemes were insufficient time and large grup size.Conclusion: Students reported that ECE was useful, but theystated that they needed to have more encounter with patientsand more hospital teaching. The results also reveal that this ECEprogram is an excellent approach to strengthen learning in adifficult subject like renal physiology. This approach is adjustableto other basic science topics and subjects as well.Keywords: Early clinical exposure; Integration; Learning