Purpose. Undergraduate students interested in health careers often possess limited knowledge regarding the scope ofpractice of various health professions, particularly in allied health. Because of this, students sometimes enter a course of study in a field that is not compatible with their career plans or abilities. To date, there has been limited research exploring strategies to assist students in gaining knowledge of health careers. The purpose of this study was to investigate effectiveness of an Introduction to the Health Professions course on students Methods. Sixty-one undergraduate students who enrolled in an Introduction to the Health Professions course over five years were administered a pre and post course questionnaire related to their knowledge of seven allied health professions, including allopathic, naturopathic, osteopathic, and chiropractic medicine; physician assistant; occupational therapy; and physical therapy. For four of these professions, information was presented by a professional from that discipline. Results. A repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance indicated an overall statistically significant increase in accuracy of information regarding professional domains from pre to post test. Univariate repeated measures of analyses for each profession revealed a significant increase in knowledge regarding four of the seven professions (allopathic medicine, naturopathic medicine, physician assistant, and occupational therapy). In the disciplines where a clinician from that discipline presented the information, three of the four demonstrated significant increase in knowledge. Conclusion. Offering an Introduction to the Health Professions course may be an effective strategy for increasing student knowledge of various professions, particularly when information is presented by a clinician from that discipline. These courses have the potential to assist students in making informed decisions regarding their career path.
Hawkins S, Hertweck M, Salls J, Laird J, Goreczny AJ. Assessing Knowledge Acquisition of Students: Impact of Introduction to the Health Professions Course. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2012 Jan 01;10(1), Article 8.