Lived Experiences of Undergraduate Medical Students about Hidden Curriculum: A Phenomenological Study
The hidden curriculum refers to student experiences that occur outside the formal structure of the curriculum, and especially the messages provided by the education system concerning values, perspectives, behaviors, and attitudes which has a strong influence on students' professional development. This study aimed at explaining the lived experiences of undergraduate medical students about the “hidden curriculum.” This was a qualitative phenomenological study. Participants were medical students of Iran University of Medical Sciences and they were chosen by purposive sampling method based on the inclusion criteria. Semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions were conducted with 10 students until data saturation, and 7-step Colaizzi's method was utilized for the purposes of analyzing the study findings. In the process of analyzing data from medical students' lived experiences about hidden curriculum, the following three themes were extracted: 1. Conflict in value beliefs (sub-themes: not giving priority to students education, applicability to the clinical practice of basic sciences, attitude towards discipline, professional ethics, justice in evaluation”) 2. Modeling teacher’s communication skills patterns (sub-themes: “teacher-patient relationship,” “teacher -student relationship and professor-colleagues relationship) 3. Effective teaching (sub-themes: “clinical teaching” and “theoretical teaching”). Based on the results of the study, the hidden curriculum has both positive and negative impacts on various aspects of learning, especially the attitudinal domain. Consequently, paying specific attention to hidden curriculums is an absolute need.