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Impact of postgraduate study on healthcare professionals' academic and clinical practice

Holloway, Samantha, Taylor, Ann and Tombs, Michal ORCID: 2020. Impact of postgraduate study on healthcare professionals' academic and clinical practice. British Journal of Healthcare Management 27 (7) , pp. 171-178. 10.12968/bjhc.2019.0058

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Aims/Background Existing literature in the healthcare setting indicates that individuals enter higher education, particularly postgraduate programmes, to gain in-depth knowledge of a subject area, with a view to improving their career opportunities. Evidence also suggests that, in addition to perceived career enhancement, individuals also report benefits such as personal growth and broadening of perspectives, which have helped their clinical practice. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of postgraduate study on healthcare professionals' academic practice and discuss the potential links to improvements in clinical practice. Method This was a descriptive cross-sectional survey of a convenience sample of graduates from a range of postgraduate healthcare programmes at one UK university. A survey comprising 18 questions was designed to explore perceptions of impact and was distributed to 962 graduates with a response rate of 9.81% (n=98). Results The majority of respondents were doctors (n=54, 55.1%), women (n=59, 60.2%), based within the UK (n=36, 36.7%) and had completed their programme between 2014 and 2016 (n=72, 73.4%). With regards to achievements in professional practice, participants felt more confident in relation to research and evaluating evidence. In relation to impact on clinical practice, improvements in multidisciplinary team working as well as increased confidence emerged as main themes. Conclusions Findings support existing evidence in relation to the importance of postgraduate study, which is able to instil an increased sense of confidence in graduates' ability. This was particularly related to having a better understanding of speciality-related evidence and its application in clinical practice. This is something that previous studies do not seem to have reported and may reflect the multiprofessional nature of many of the postgraduate programmes provided.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Mark Allen Healthcare
ISSN: 1358-0574
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 July 2020
Date of Acceptance: 16 March 2020
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 12:07

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