Clinical education is an intrinsic part of most allied health educational programs. However, conceptual models differ as to what constitutes quality for clinical experiences. As a relatively new allied health care field, athletic training education is adapting in order to meet the needs of a changing health care environment. Recent initiatives for clinical education mark the change from a quantitative (hours of exposure) approach, to one emphasizing quality (mastery over time). However, in this transition from field-based to curriculum emphasis, the coherence between different aspects of the educational process have weakened. This paper presents a background of clinical education in athletic training and presents a model for allied health education that offers distinct didactic, clinical, and field experience components.



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