Submission ID 78312

Code OA-1-3
At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
Category Medical Education
Type Oral
Will the presenter be a: Graduate Student
Title Engaging Alumni, Faculty and Employers to Identify Gaps in Professional and Academic Competencies for Community Health Sciences Graduate Students
Background/Purpose Thesis-based graduate programs in health sciences traditionally focus on ensuring students obtain the knowledge and research skills necessary for a career in academia. However, an increasing number of graduates are choosing careers in non-academic settings. Universities can respond to these changes by expanding the core competencies and curricula of their training programs to prepare students. The purpose of this study was to explore and identify gaps in the academic and professional competencies of a community health sciences graduate program through the lens of alumni, frequent employers of alumni, and faculty from the program.
Methods We conducted semi-structured interviews with 17 alumni across multiple specializations (public health, epidemiology, health services research etc.), 7 faculty specialization leads, and representatives from 4 organizations. Interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis.
Results There were moderate gaps in the skills students gained through the graduate program and the skills needed to succeed in their various post-graduate roles across both academic and non-academic settings. The gaps included technical, people and stakeholder management skills, as well as requirements for prior or "real world" experience. Participants reported that an imbedded internship experience during the program may address many of these gaps.
Discussion While this program was adequately equipping graduate students with many of the professional skills needed to succeed in a variety of roles post-graduation, more is needed to better prepare students for a variety of roles and professional expectations. An imbedded internship program developed with thesis-based students in mind may be one solution.
Keyword 1 Graduate Health Science Education
Keyword 2 Professional Competencies
Keyword 3 Career Preparation
Abstract content most relevant to: (check all that apply) Other
Abstract Track - First Choice Health Workforce
Authors Benedicta Antepim
Jasmeet Khatkar
Sheila Sun
Elizabeth Oddone Paolucci
Benedicta Antepim

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