A number of recent developments in medical and nursing education have highlighted the importance of communication and consultation skills (CCS). Although such skills are taught in all medical and nursing undergraduate curriculums, there is no comprehensive screening or assessment programme of CCS using professionally trained Standardized Patients Educators (SPE's) in Ireland. This study was designed to test the content, process and acceptability of a screening programme in CCS with Irish medical and nursing students using trained SPE's and a previously validated global rating scale for CCS.
Eight tutors from the Schools of Nursing and Medicine at University College Cork were trained in the use of a validated communication skills and attitudes holistic assessment tool. A total of forty six medical students (Year 2 of 5) and sixty four nursing students (Year 2/3 of 4) were selected to under go individual CCS assessment by the tutors via an SPE led scenario. Immediate formative feedback was provided by the SPE's for the students. Students who did not pass the assessment were referred for remediation CCS learning.
Almost three quarters of medical students (33/46; 72%) and 81% of nursing students (56/64) passed the CCS assessment in both communication and attitudes categories. All nursing students had English as their first language. Nine of thirteen medical students referred for enhanced learning in CCS did not have English as their first language.
A significant proportion of both medical and nursing students required referral for enhanced training in CCS. Medical students requiring enhanced training were more likely not to have English as a first language.
The effectiveness of skills laboratory training is widely recognized. Yet, the transfer of procedural skills acquired in skills laboratories into clinical practice has rarely been investigated. We conducted a prospective, randomised, double-blind, controlled trial to evaluate, if students having trained intravenous (IV) cannulation in a skills laboratory are rated as more professional regarding technical and communication skills compared to students who underwent bedside teaching when assessed objectively by independent video assessors and subjectively by patients.
Methodology and Principal Findings
84 volunteer first-year medical students were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Three drop-outs occurred. The intervention group (IG; n = 41) trained IV cannulation in a skills laboratory receiving instruction after Peyton's ‘Four-Step Approach’. The control group (CG; n = 40) received a bedside teaching session with volunteer students acting as patients. Afterwards, performance of IV cannulation of both groups in a clinical setting with students acting as patients was video-recorded. Two independent, blinded video assessors scored students' performance using binary checklists (BC) and the Integrated Procedural Protocol Instrument (IPPI). Patients assessed students' performance with the Communication Assessment Tool (CAT) and a modified IPPI. IG required significantly shorter time needed for the performance on a patient (IG: 595.4 SD(188.1)s; CG: 692.7 SD(247.8)s; 95%CI 23.5 s to 45.1 s; p = 0.049) and completed significantly more single steps of the procedure correctly (IG: 64% SD(14) for BC items; CG: 53% SD(18); 95%CI 10.25% to 11.75%; p = 0.004). IG also scored significantly better on IPPI ratings (median: IG: 3.1; CG: 3.6; p = 0.015;). Rated by patients, students' performance and patient-physician communication did not significantly differ between groups.
Transfer of IV cannulation-related skills acquired in a skills laboratory is superior to bedside teaching when rated by independent video raters by means of IPPI and BC. It enables students to perform IV cannulation more professionally on volunteer students acting as patients.
There is a relative lack of current research on the effects of specific communication training offered at the beginning of the medical degree program. The newly developed communication training "Basics and Practice in Communication Skills" was pilot tested in 2008 and expanded in the following year at the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany. The goal was to promote and improve the communicative skills of participants and show the usefulness of an early offered intervention on patient-physician communication within the medical curriculum.
The students participating in the project and a comparison group of students from the standard degree program were surveyed at the beginning and end of the courses. The survey consisted of a self-assessment of their skills as well as a standardised expert rating and an evaluation of the modules by means of a questionnaire.
Students who attended the communication skills course exhibited a considerable increase of communication skills in this newly developed training. It was also observed that students in the intervention group had a greater degree of self-assessed competence following training than the medical students in the comparison group. This finding is also reflected in the results from a standardised objective measure.
The empirical results of the study showed that the training enabled students to acquire specialised competence in communication through the course of a newly developed training program. These findings will be used to establish new communication training at the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf.
The aim of this study was to research the feasibility of training mental health consumers as tutors for 4th year medical students in psychiatry.
A partnership between a consumer network and an academic unit in Psychological Medicine was formed to jointly develop a training package for consumer tutors and a curriculum in interviewing skills for medical students. Student attitudes to mental health consumers were measured pre and post the program. All tutorial evaluation data was analysed using univariate statistics. Both tutors and students evaluated the teaching program using a 4 point rating scale. The mean scores for teaching and content for both students and tutors were compared using an independent samples t-test.
Consumer tutors were successfully trained and accredited as tutors and able to sustain delivery of tutorials over a 4 year period. The study found that whilst the medical students started with positive attitudes towards consumers prior to the program, there was a general trend towards improved attitude across all measures. Other outcomes for tutors and students (both positive and negative) are described.
Consumer tutors along with professional tutors have a place in the education of medical students, are an untapped resource and deliver largely positive outcomes for students and themselves. Further possible developments are described.
Objectives. To assess the effectiveness of human patient simulation to teach patient safety, team-building skills, and the value of interprofessional collaboration to pharmacy students.
Design. Five scenarios simulating semi-urgent situations that required interprofessional collaboration were developed. Groups of 10 to 12 health professions students that included 1 to 2 pharmacy students evaluated patients while addressing patient safety hazards.
Assessment. Pharmacy students’ scores on 8 of 30 items on a post-simulation survey of knowledge, skills, and attitudes improved over pre-simulation scores. Students’ scores on 3 of 10 items on a team building and interprofessional communications survey also improved after participating in the simulation exercise. Over 90% of students reported that simulation increased their understanding of professional roles and the importance of interprofessional communication.
Conclusions. Simulation training provided an opportunity to improve pharmacy students’ ability to recognize and react to patient safety concerns and enhanced their interprofessional collaboration and communication skills.
simulation; interprofessional; emergency department; patient safety; team work
In recent times, medical schools have committed to developing good communication and history taking skills in students. However, there remains an unresolved question as to which constitutes the best educational method. Our study aims to investigate whether the use of videotape recording is superior to verbal feedback alone in the teaching of clinical skills and the role of student self-assessment on history taking and communication skills.
A randomized controlled trial was designed. The study was conducted with 52 of the Dokuz Eylul University Faculty of Medicine second year students. All students' performances of communication and history taking skills were assessed twice. Between these assessments, the study group had received both verbal and visual feedback by watching their video recordings on patient interview; the control group received only verbal feedback from the teacher.
Although the self-assessment of the students did not change significantly, assessors' ratings increased significantly for videotaped interviews at the second time.
Feedback based on videotaped interviews is superior to the feedback given solely based on the observation of assessors.
The ever increasing need of health professionals for information and the inclusion of active learning experiences in the medical school curriculum require that students learn the effective use of health information tools. Curriculum integration is gaining acceptance as an effective approach to teaching information skills in this setting. At the University of Miami School of Medicine, information skills components taught by library faculty are integrated into the Freshman Orientation Program and two sophomore curriculum courses. Beginning with a core set of skills and basic information management tools, more complex and subject-specific skills are introduced sequentially throughout the basic sciences curriculum. During the first two years, a wide range of information skills are taught, and students receive many opportunities to seek and identify information using both printed sources and computerized bibliographic databases. This paper describes how curriculum integration of information skills instruction was achieved and the many benefits of this approach. Included are a description of the information skills components, evaluation data, and future plans.
Little data exist for the effectiveness of communication skills teaching for medical students in non-English speaking countries. We conducted a non-randomized controlled study to examine if a short intensive seminar for Japanese medical students had any impact on communication skills with patients.
Throughout the academic year 2001–2002, a total of 105 fifth-year students (18 groups of 5 to 7 students) participated, one group at a time, in a two-day, small group seminar on medical interviewing. Half way through the year, a five-station objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) was conducted for all fifth-year students. We videotaped all the students' interaction with a standardized patient in one OSCE station that was focused on communication skills. Two independent observers rated the videotapes of 50 students who had attended the seminar and 47 who had not. Sixteen core communication skills were measured. Disagreements between raters were resolved by a third observer's rating.
There was a statistically significant difference in proportions of students who were judged as 'acceptable' in one particular skill related to understanding patient's perspectives: asking how the illness or problems affected the patient's life, (53% in the experimental group and 30% in the control group, p = .02). No differences were observed in the other 15 core communication skills, although there was a trend for improvement in the skill for asking the patient's ideas about the illness or problems (60% vs. 40%, p = .054) and one of the relationship building skills; being attentive and empathic nonverbally (87% vs. 72%, p = .064).
The results of this study suggest that a short, intensive small group seminar for Japanese medical students may have had a short-term impact on specific communication skills, pertaining to understanding patient's perspectives.
To identify criteria by which patients can assess the communication skills of pharmacy students.
Potential assessment criteria were generated from 2 main sources: a literature review and a focus group discussion. A modified two-round Delphi survey was subsequently conducted with 35 professionals who were actively involved in teaching and assessing communication skills of pharmacy students to determine the importance and reliability of each criterion.
Consensus ratings identified 7 criteria that were important measures of pharmacy students' communication skills and could be reliably assessed by patients.
A modified two-round Delphi consultation survey successfully identified criteria that can be used by patients to assess the communication skills of pharmacy undergraduates. Future work will examine the feasibility of using patients as assessors of communication skills of pharmacy students, preregistration pharmacists, and qualified pharmacists.
communication; assessment; pharmacy students; patient evaluation
Interactive methods like role play, recorded video scenarios and objective structured clinical exam (OSCE) are being regularly used to teach and assess communication skills of medical students in the western world. In developing countries however, they are still in the preliminary phases of execution in most institutes. Our study was conducted in a naïve under resourced setup to assess the impact of such teaching methodologies on the counseling skills of medical students.
Fifty four 4th year MBBS students were identified to be evaluated for communication skills by trained facilitators in a pre-intervention OSCE. The same group of students was given a demonstration of ideal skill level by means of videos and role playing sessions in addition to real life interaction with patients during hospital and community rotations. A post-intervention evaluation was carried out six months later through OSCE and direct observation through structured checklist (DOS) in hospital and community settings. The combined and individual performance levels of these students were analyzed.
There was a statistically significant difference in the communication skills of students when assessed in the post-intervention OSCE (p = 0.000). Individual post-intervention percentages of study participants displayed improvement as well (n = 45, p = 0.02). No difference was observed between the scores of male and female students when assessed for two specific competencies of antenatal care and breast feeding counseling (p = 0.11). The mean DOS (%) score of 12 randomly selected students was much lower as compared to the post-intervention (%) score but the difference between them was statistically non significant, a result that may have been affected by the small sample size as well as other factors that may come into play in real clinical settings and were not explored in this study (59.41 ± 7.8 against 82.43 ± 22.08, p = 0.88).
Videos and role play in combination with community and clinical exposure are effective modes of teaching counseling skills to medical students. They can be successfully utilized even in a limited resource setup, as demonstrated by our trial.
Innovative approaches are needed to teach medical students effective and compassionate communication with seriously ill patients. We describe two such educational experiences in the Yale Medical School curriculum for third-year medical students: 1) Communicating Difficult News Workshop and 2) Ward-Based End-of-Life Care Assignment. These two programs address educational needs to teach important clinical communication and assessment skills to medical students that previously were not consistently or explicitly addressed in the curriculum. The two learning programs share a number of educational approaches driven by the learning objectives, the students’ development, and clinical realities. Common educational features include: experiential learning, the Biopsychosocial Model, patient-centered communication, integration into clinical clerkships, structured skill-based learning, self-reflection, and self-care. These shared features ― as well as some differences ― are explored in this paper in order to illustrate key issues in designing and implementing medical student education in these areas.
medical student education; communication skills; end-of-life discussions; communicating bad news; end-of-life care
Background: Within the Bologna reform, a longitudinal curriculum of “social and communicative competencies” (SOKO) was implemented into the new Bachelor-Master structure of undergraduate medical education in Basel (Switzerland).
Project description: The aim of the SOKO curriculum is to enable students to use techniques of patient-centred communication to elicit and provide information to patients in order to involve them as informed partners in decision making processes. The SOKO curriculum consists of 57 lessons for the individual student from the first bachelor year to the first master year. Teaching encompasses lectures and small group learning. Didactic methods include role play, video feedback, and consultations with simulated and real patients. Summative assessment takes place in objective structured clinical examinations (OSCE).
Conclusion: In Basel, a longitudinal SOKO curriculum based on students’ cumulative learning was successfully implemented. Goals and contents were coordinated with the remaining curriculum and are regularly assessed in OSCEs. At present, most of the workload rests on the shoulders of the department of psychosomatic medicine at the university hospital. For the curriculum to be successful in the long-term, sustainable structures need to be instituted at the medical faculty and the university hospital to guarantee high quality teaching and assessment.
Communication skills; longitudinal curriculum; undergraduate medical education; Bologna process
Lack of knowledge and skills, and negative attitudes towards patients with disabilities, may adversely affect the services available to this group and negatively affect their health outcomes. The objective of this paper is to describe the development and initial implementation of a curriculum for teaching medical students to care for patients with disabilities.
We followed the six-step approach for developing curricula for medical education: general needs assessment, specific needs assessment, defining goals and objectives, determining the educational strategies, planning the implementation, and developing an evaluation plan.
The curriculum has well defined goals and objectives covering knowledge, attitudes and skills. It employs both traditional and non-traditional teaching strategies. The implementation is planned over the four-year medical school curriculum in collaboration with a number of academic departments and specialized community-based agencies. The curriculum evaluation includes an attitudinal survey which is administered using a controlled design (pre- and post- exposure to the curriculum). The initial implementation of the curriculum has been very successful.
We have developed a longitudinal curriculum to teach medical students to care for people with disabilities. A rigorous evaluation of the impact of the curriculum is needed.
Objective. To develop communication skills in second-year pharmacy students using a virtual practice environment (VPE) and to assess students’ and tutors’ (instructors’) experiences.
Design. A VPE capable of displaying life-sized photographic and video images and representing a pharmacy setting was constructed. Students viewed prescriptions and practiced role-playing with each other and explored the use of nonverbal communication in patient-pharmacist interactions. The VPE experiences were complemented with lectures, reflective journaling, language and learning support, and objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs).
Assessment. Most students believed the VPE was a useful teaching resource (87%) and agreed that the video component enabled them to contextualize patient problems (73%). While 45% of students questioned the usefulness of watching the role plays between students after they were video recorded, most (90%) identified improvement in their own communication as a result of participating in the tutorials. Most tutors felt comfortable using the technology. Focus group participants found the modified tutorials more engaging and aesthetically positive than in their previous experience.
Conclusion. The VPE provided an effective context for communication skills development classes.
communication; counseling; virtual environment; simulation; pharmacy students; video; tutorials
Good communication is a crucial element of good clinical care, and it is important to provide appropriate consultation skills teaching in undergraduate medical training to ensure that doctors have the necessary skills to communicate effectively with patients and other key stakeholders. This article aims to provide research evidence of the acceptability of a longitudinal consultation skills strand in an undergraduate medical course, as assessed by a cross-sectional evaluation of students' perceptions of their teaching and learning experiences.
A structured questionnaire was used to collect student views. The questionnaire comprised two parts: 16 closed questions to evaluate content and process of teaching and 5 open-ended questions. Questionnaires were completed at the end of each consultation skills session across all year groups during the 2006-7 academic year (5 sessions in Year 1, 3 in Year 2, 3 in Year 3, 10 in Year 4 and 10 in Year 5). 2519 questionnaires were returned in total.
Students rated Tutor Facilitation most favourably, followed by Teaching, then Practice & Feedback, with suitability of the Rooms being most poorly rated. All years listed the following as important aspects they had learnt during the session:
• how to structure the consultation
• importance of patient-centredness
• aspects of professionalism (including recognising own limits, being prepared, generally acting professionally).
All years also noted that the sessions had increased their confidence, particularly through practice.
Our results suggest that a longitudinal and integrated approach to teaching consultation skills using a well structured model such as Calgary-Cambridge, facilitates and consolidates learning of desired process skills, increases student confidence, encourages integration of process and content, and reinforces appreciation of patient-centredness and professionalism.
Recent educational initiatives by both the World Health Organization and the American Association of Medical Colleges have endorsed integrating teaching of patient safety and quality improvement (QI) to medical students. Curriculum development should take into account learners’ attitudes and preferences. We surveyed students to assess preferences and attitudes about QI and patient safety education.
An electronic survey was developed through focus groups, literature review, and local expert opinion and distributed via email to all medical students at a single medical school in the spring of 2012.
A greater proportion of students reported previous exposure to patient safety than to quality improvement topics (79% vs. 47%). More than 80% of students thought patient safety was of the same or greater importance than basic science or clinical skills whereas quality improvement was rated as the same or more important by about 70% of students. Students rated real life examples of quality improvement projects and participation in these projects with actual patients as potentially the most helpful (mean scores 4.2/5 and 3.9/5 respectively). For learning about patient safety, real life examples of mistakes were again rated most highly (mean scores 4.5/5 for MD presented mistakes and 4.1/5 for patient presented mistakes). Students rated QI as very important to their future career regardless of intended specialty (mean score 4.5/5).
Teaching of patient safety and quality improvement to medical students will be best received if it is integrated into clinical education rather than solely taught in pre-clinical lectures or through independent computer modules. Students recognize that these topics are important to their careers as future physicians regardless of intended specialty.
Medical education; Quality improvement; Patient safety; Curriculum development
Background: Peer assisted learning is known as an effective educational strategy in medical teaching. We established a peer assisted teaching program by student tutors with a focus on clinical competencies for students during their practical training on paediatric wards. It was the purpose of this study to investigate the effects of a clinical skills training by tutors, residents and consultants on students evaluations of the teaching quality and the effects of a peer teaching program on self assessed clinical competencies by the students.
Methods: Medical student peers in their 6th year were trained by an intensive instruction program for teaching clinical skills by paediatric consultants, doctors and psychologists. 109 students in their 5th year (study group) participated in a peer assisted teaching program for training clinical skills in paediatrics. The skills training by student peer teachers were supervised by paediatric doctors. 45 students (control group) participated in a conventional paediatric skills training by paediatric doctors and consultants. Students from both groups, which were consecutively investigated, completed a questionnaire with an evaluation of the satisfaction with their practical training and a self assessment of their practical competencies.
Results: The paediatric skills training with student peer teachers received significantly better ratings than the conventional skills training by paediatric doctors concerning both the quality of the practical training and the support by the teaching medical staff. Self assessed learning success in practical skills was higher rated in the peer teaching program than in the conventional training.
Conclusions: The peer assisted teaching program of paediatric skills training was rated higher by the students regarding their satisfaction with the teaching quality and their self assessment of the acquired skills. Clinical skills training by student peer teachers have to be supervised by paediatric doctors. Paediatric doctors seem to be more motivated for their own teaching tasks if they are assisted by student peer teachers. More research is needed to investigate the influence of peer teaching on the motivation of paediatric doctors to teach medical students und the academic performance of the student peers.
Peer assisted learning; clinical skills training in paediatrics; student evaluation; student self assessment
Effective behavior change counseling is an important component of the optimal care of patients, yet only a minority of medical schools currently include such training in their curriculum.
To design and evaluate a formal curriculum to teach medical students the principles of motivational interviewing (MI) that will improve knowledge, skills, and confidence in the area of counseling patients for health behavior change.
Fifty-three 3rd year medical students at the University of California, San Diego.
A 4-week curriculum consisting of four 2-h sessions, in a small group format (8–12 students). Educational strategies included a combination of short didactics, video demonstrations, small group role plays, and interactive exercises.
Students completed identical pre- and post-assessments, consisting of a questionnaire measuring confidence and knowledge, and a performance assessment using the Video Assessment of Simulated Encounters-Revised (VASE-R) tool. Knowledge improved significantly (pre-mean: 7.04, post-mean: 11.54; P < 0.001), as did skill development (pre-mean: 7.02, post-mean: 9.47; P < 0.001). Student satisfaction with behavior change counseling training improved from 3.6 to 8.1 (P < 0.001). Students were significantly more confident (P < 0.001) in their abilities to assess a patient’s readiness for change and counsel the patient on behavior change after the course.
Participation in a focused curriculum on the use of motivational interviewing techniques significantly improved 3rd year medical students’ knowledge, confidence, and skills in the area of behavior change counseling. These gains may help students succeed in promoting good health habits in their future patients.
motivational interviewing; behavior change counseling; curriculum evaluation
Seven years' experience in teaching communication skills to first year clinical students at St Mary's Hospital School of Medicine is described. The first component consists of a day during the introductory clinical course; this is divided into a lecture and small seminar groups and involves behavioural scientists and clinicians from many departments. The second component uses simulated patients and video feedback and takes place in small groups later in the year. Participation of the students through active critical discussion, role play, and interactive video feedback are important aspects in the success of the course. The methods have been refined through evaluation by students and tutors. This article aims to allow others, already running or considering such a course, to develop effective courses within the practical constraints of their own institutions.
Objective: Evaluate medical students’ communication and professionalism skills from the perspective of the ambulatory patient and later compare these skills in their first year of residency. Methods: Students in third year neurology clerkship clinics see patients alone followed by a revisit with an attending neurologist. The patient is then asked to complete a voluntary, anonymous, Likert scale questionnaire rating the student on friendliness, listening to the patient, respecting the patient, using understandable language, and grooming. For students who had completed 1 year of residency these professionalism ratings were compared with those from their residency director. Results: Seven hundred forty-two questionnaires for 165 clerkship students from 2007 to 2009 were analyzed. Eighty-three percent of forms were returned with an average of 5 per student. In 64% of questionnaires, patients rated students very good in all five categories; in 35% patients selected either very good or good ratings; and <1% rated any student fair. No students were rated poor or very poor. Sixty-two percent of patients wrote complimentary comments about the students. From the Class of 2008, 52% of students received “better than their peers” professionalism ratings from their PGY1 residency directors and only one student was rated “below their peers.” Conclusion: This questionnaire allowed patient perceptions of their students’ communication/professionalism skills to be evaluated in a systematic manner. Residency director ratings of professionalism of the same students at the end of their first year of residency confirms continued professional behavior.
professional conduct; medical ethics; medical education
Most medical professionals are expected to possess basic electrocardiogram (EKG) interpretation skills. But, published data suggests that residents' and physicians' EKG interpretation skills are suboptimal. Learning styles differ among medical students; individualization of teaching methods has been shown to be viable and may result in improved learning. Puzzles have been shown to facilitate learning in a relaxed environment. The objective of this study was to assess efficacy of teaching puzzle in EKG interpretation skills among medical students.
This is a reader blinded crossover trial. Third year medical students from College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University participated in this study. Two groups (n = 9) received two traditional EKG interpretation skills lectures followed by a standardized exam and two extra sessions with the teaching puzzle and a different exam. Two other groups (n = 6) received identical courses and exams with the puzzle session first followed by the traditional teaching. EKG interpretation scores on final test were used as main outcome measure.
The average score after only traditional teaching was 4.07 ± 2.08 while after only the puzzle session was 4.04 ± 2.36 (p = 0.97). The average improvement after the traditional session was followed up with a puzzle session was 2.53 ± 1.94 while the average improvement after the puzzle session was followed with the traditional session was 2.08 ± 1.73 (p = 0.67). The final EKG exam score for this cohort (n = 15) was 84.1 compared to 86.6 (p = 0.22) for a comparable sample of medical students (n = 15) at a different campus.
Teaching EKG interpretation with puzzles is comparable to traditional teaching and may be particularly useful for certain subgroups of students. Puzzle session are more interactive and relaxing, and warrant further investigations on larger scale.
The evidence is mixed regarding the efficacy of cultural competence curricula in developing learners' knowledge, attitudes and skills. More research is needed to better understand both the strengths and shortcomings of existing curricula from the perspective of learners in order to improve training.
We conducted three focus groups with medical students in their first year of clinical training to assess their perceptions of the cultural competence curriculum at a public university school of medicine.
Students evaluated the informal curriculum as a more important source of learning about cultural competence than the formal curriculum. In terms of bias in both self and others, the cultural competence curriculum increased awareness, but was less effective in teaching specific interventional skills. Students also noted that the cultural competence curriculum did not always sufficiently help them find a balance between group-specific knowledge and respect for individual differences. Despite some concerns as to whether political correctness characterized the cultural competence curriculum, it was also seen as a way to rehumanize the medical education experience.
Future research needs to pay attention to issues such as perceived relevance, stereotyping, and political correctness in developing cross-cultural training programs.
The Observed Simulated Hand-off Experience (OSHE) was created to evaluate medical students’ sign-out skills using a real-time assessment tool, the Hand-off CEX.
Thirty-two 4th year medical students participated as part of an elective course.
One week following an interactive workshop where students learned effective hand-off strategies, students participated in an experience in which they performed a hand-off of a mock patient using simulated history and physical examination data and a brief video.
Internal medicine residents served as standardized hand-off receivers and were trained on expectations. Students were provided feedback using a newly developed Hand-off CEX, based on the “Mini-CEX,” which rates overall hand-off performance and its components on a 9-point Likert-type scale. Outcomes included performance ratings and pre- and post-student self-assessments of hand-off preparedness. Data were analyzed using Wilcoxon signed-rank tests and descriptive statistics. Resident receivers rated overall student performance with a mean score of 6.75 (range 4–9, maximum 9). Statistically significant improvement was observed in self-perceived preparedness for performing an effective hand-off (67% post- vs. 27% pre-reporting ‘well-prepared,’ p < 0.009).
This brief, standardized hand-off training exercise improved students’ confidence and was rated highly by trained observers. Future work focuses on formal validation of the Hand-off CEX instrument.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-009-1170-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
hand-offs; simulation; residency education
To develop a tool to teach pharmacy students assertive communication skills to use when talking with physicians over the telephone.
As an assignment for their Communication Skills and Counseling course, students were asked to write a script involving a patient care issue or problem covering 3 different communication styles that could be used when contacting a prescriber by telephone: passive, aggressive, and assertive. Students worked in groups to write and act out the scripts for the class.
Eight scripts were developed by students and rated by peers and faculty members. The script that received the highest ratings was used in the development of a multimedia educational CD.
The development of hypothetical scripts describing a drug therapy problem and illustrating the types of interactions between physicians and pharmacists while discussing the problem allowed pharmacy students to explore different communication techniques and improve their communication skills.
Giving and receiving feedback are critical skills and should be taught early in the process of medical education, yet few studies discuss the effect of feedback curricula for first-year medical students.
To study short-term and long-term skills and attitudes of first-year medical students after a multidisciplinary feedback curriculum.
Prospective pre- vs. post-course evaluation using mixed-methods data analysis.
First-year students at a public university medical school.
We collected anonymous student feedback to faculty before, immediately after, and 8 months after the curriculum and classified comments by recommendation (reinforcing/corrective) and specificity (global/specific). Students also self-rated their comfort with and quality of feedback. We assessed changes in comments (skills) and self-rated abilities (attitudes) across the three time points.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS
Across the three time points, students’ evaluation contained more corrective specific comments per evaluation [pre-curriculum mean (SD) 0.48 (0.99); post-curriculum 1.20 (1.7); year-end 0.95 (1.5); p = 0.006]. Students reported increased skill and comfort in giving and receiving feedback and at providing constructive feedback (p < 0.001). However, the number of specific comments on year-end evaluations declined [pre 3.35 (2.0); post 3.49 (2.3); year-end 2.8 (2.1)]; p = 0.008], as did students’ self-rated ability to give specific comments.
Teaching feedback to early medical students resulted in improved skills of delivering corrective specific feedback and enhanced comfort with feedback. However, students’ overall ability to deliver specific feedback decreased over time.
medical education; curriculum development; feedback; self-assessment; qualitative analysis