Connected, attracted, and concerned: A Q study on medical crossborder curriculum partnerships

Dominique G. J. Waterval*, Janneke M. Frambach, Erik W. Driessen, Arno Muijtjens, Albert J. J. A. Scherpbier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction: A new form of internationalization has been trending upward in the medical education realm: crossborder medical curriculum partnerships established to deliver the same, or adapted, curriculum to groups of geographically separated students. This study aims to investigate crossborder medical curriculum partnerships by exploring the experiences of teachers at the recipient institution who have a key role in delivering the program. Methods: From four pioneering recipient medical schools, 24 teachers participated in a Q-sort study. Each participant rank-ordered 42 statements about teaching in a crossborder medical curriculum on a scale from -5 (indicating strong disagreement) to +5 (indicating strong agreement). The authors conducted a "by-person" factor analysis to uncover distinct patterns in the ranking of statements, using the statistical results and participants' comments about their Q sorts to interpret these patterns and translate them into distinct viewpoints. Results: Three viewpoints emerged, reflecting: (1) a feeling of connectedness with the partner institution, trust in the quality of the curriculum, and appreciation of interinstitutional relationships; (2) the partnership's attractiveness because of the career opportunities it offers; and (3) concerns over the quality of graduates because of doubts about the appropriateness of the didactic model and insufficient attention to local healthcare needs, and over the practical feasibility of such partnerships. Conclusions: The three viewpoints identified revealed a pallet of views on how host teachers might experience their work. It shows the heterogeneous features of this group and seems to counterbalance reports that they are feeling "deprived" from their role as teacher. Two viewpoints featured an appreciation of interinstitutional relationships and of the partnership, especially when perceiving a degree of autonomy. Partners can capitalize on all different viewpoints by deploying procedure and policies to raise the quality of education delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1293-1299
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Teacher
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2018



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