Document Type : Original Article



INTRODUCTION: It has been perceived that there is a lack of community exposure and active learning
in the community for the first‑year undergraduates in Community Medicine. This study is designed
to evaluate an early community exposure given to the students to help overcome these lacunae.
METHODOLOGY: In this study, the first‑year students (n = 44) were provided an early community
exposure and evaluated to understand their perceptions by a prevalidated, pre‑ and post exposure
questionnaire. The community exposure was given to the students by allocating them families in
community with designated tasks A core group of mentors monitored the students and scored
the students on every visit. Attendance of students, scores marked by the mentors, and pre‑ and
postexposure responses were used to evaluate the impact of community exposure.
RESULTS: A total of 44 students were evaluated in this study. A total of 22 h (36.6%) were dedicated
to community‑based learning in the 1st year. A positive response was observed in the postexposure
responses with regard to the understanding of the subject and interest in the subject in comparison
to preexposure responses (P < 0.05). A statistically significant difference was observed in the first
and final visit scores by the mentors with respect to communication skills, elicitation of history, team
spirit, and attitude toward community (P < 0.00001).
CONCLUSIONS: Students were exposed to the concept of community service and inculcated an
interest in public health. Early community exposure of medical undergraduate students is important
in developing better working skills in the community.


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