The health of society is a concern for any nation. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as a "resource for everyday life, not the objective of living", and "health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities" (Wikipedia, 2008). One aspect of improving human health is through clinical care. In the health profession, a wide variety of individuals are involved in this process. Each individual must communicate effectively with the other. The correct pronunciation of terms becomes a must.
The University of Tennessee’s College of Medicine program is dedicated toward educating and training physicians at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels. The University of Tennessee, College of Medicine is part of the University of Tennessee’s Health Science Center (UTHSC) and offers programs leading to the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree. The College of Medicine also participates in the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)/Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) combined degree program. Medical Students rotate on campuses in Memphis, Knoxville, and Chattanooga as well as other training areas throughout the state. Over 900 residents train in participating hospitals located in Chattanooga, Jackson, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville. Students at UTHSC are exposed to "a broad array of programs” (UTHCS web site, 2008).
In the second year of the program, medical students at UTHSC take a Medical Pharmacology course where they are expected to learn the names and uses of drugs. Course lectures and support materials present the drugs in categories according to usage and include the generic name, brand names, as well as correct spelling. In addition to learning the names and uses of drugs, it is important students learn the correct American English pronunciation, in order to communicate with other medical professionals they meet in a clinical setting. Students currently learn to pronounce the names of the drugs through hearing them spoken by the professors and through replaying lectures on tape. The current methods are not always adequate, as students provide anecdotal evidence of clinical incidents where they refer to a drug by name and are not understood by medical staff. Approximately eighty-five percent of the time students mispronounce terms by omitting syllables or letters. According to Dr. Brescia, Instructional Technology Director, one reported source of the problem is a pronunciation difference between American and British English: the main lecturer speaks British English. Students thus need to learn to pronounce the drug names correctly in American English.
Salient issues include faculty support, student’s grasp of word structure, student’s ability to read and pronounce terms, and the student’s prior knowledge of terms. Students are expected to recall over 600 drug names. The drug names are presented to students through lectures, recordings, or printed material. The primary stakeholders are the students, Director of Instructional Technology, and course directors of medical education.
Each year a hundred and fifty students enter the medical program. These students are typically residents of Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, or Alabama. Ten percent may be from other states provided they are children of alumni. Prior to admission, students must complete ninety hours of undergraduate coursework, pass Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), submit personal statement, and have desired personal qualities. Although no specific major is required, it is recommended that students take courses in humanities, fine arts, and social sciences. They need courses such as biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, general physics, and English.
Forty-seven students were surveyed. Sixty-eight percent agree that an online drug pronunciation guide would help them. The client also feels that the guide is necessary since studies show that students who study alone always have trouble. The students would be able to access the system from anywhere at anytime which would be ideal for the eighty percent who prefer to study alone. Although students may have personal computers, UTHSC provides access to computers.
**The Learner Analysis may be revisited at a later time as more information is gathered due to the low response from the surveys (Information was gathered from UTHSC web site, surveys, and the Instructional Technology Director).
The desired performance is students will pronounce terms using Standard English on the first attempt.
The actual performance is approximately eighty-five percent of the time students mispronounce terms by omitting syllables or letters.
Possible causes for this discrepancy are:
This proposal will address the lack of resources.
Learning Context Analysis
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