What is hidden in hidden curriculum? a qualitative study in medicine

  • Shahram Yazdani
  • Mohammad Reza Andarvazh
  • Leila Afshar
Keywords: Hidden curriculum; Medical education; Professional ethics; Implicit learning; Content analysis


The hidden curriculum is considered to be between the designed and experienced curricula. One of the challenges that medical educators face is to understand what students learn in real clinical settings. The aim of the present study was to answer this question: What is hidden in hidden medical curriculum? This study was a qualitative content analysis. Participants were selected through purposive sampling. Data collection was performed through unstructured interviews and continued until data saturation. Data were analyzed simultaneously with data collection using MAXQDA10 software. Data validity was confirmed based on the proposed Lincoln and Guba criteria. The main theme that emerged in this study was implicit learning. Professional ethics, spiritual, social and cultural issues, and clinical skills are the five major themes that were presented in this study. These themes and their subthemes are transferred during an implicit learning experience in hidden curriculum. Since a wide range of issues are mostly transferred by hidden curriculum, it is essential to have a dynamic approach to educational environments. This is especially important in clinical settings, as the process of learning is constantly happening in the backyard.