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1.  Evaluating professionalism in medical undergraduates using selected response questions: findings from an item response modelling study 
BMC Medical Education  2011;11:43.
Background
Professionalism is a difficult construct to define in medical students but aspects of this concept may be important in predicting the risk of postgraduate misconduct. For this reason attempts are being made to evaluate medical students' professionalism. This study investigated the psychometric properties of Selected Response Questions (SRQs) relating to the theme of professional conduct and ethics comparing them with two sets of control items: those testing pure knowledge of anatomy, and; items evaluating the ability to integrate and apply knowledge ("skills"). The performance of students on the SRQs was also compared with two external measures estimating aspects of professionalism in students; peer ratings of professionalism and their Conscientiousness Index, an objective measure of behaviours at medical school.
Methods
Item Response Theory (IRT) was used to analyse both question and student performance for SRQs relating to knowledge of professionalism, pure anatomy and skills. The relative difficulties, discrimination and 'guessabilities' of each theme of question were compared with each other using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Student performance on each topic was compared with the measures of conscientiousness and professionalism using parametric and non-parametric tests as appropriate. A post-hoc analysis of power for the IRT modelling was conducted using a Monte Carlo simulation.
Results
Professionalism items were less difficult compared to the anatomy and skills SRQs, poorer at discriminating between candidates and more erratically answered when compared to anatomy questions. Moreover professionalism item performance was uncorrelated with the standardised Conscientiousness Index scores (rho = 0.009, p = 0.90). In contrast there were modest but significant correlations between standardised Conscientiousness Index scores and performance at anatomy items (rho = 0.20, p = 0.006) though not skills (rho = .11, p = .1). Likewise, students with high peer ratings for professionalism had superior performance on anatomy SRQs but not professionalism themed questions. A trend of borderline significance (p = .07) was observed for performance on skills SRQs and professionalism nomination status.
Conclusions
SRQs related to professionalism are likely to have relatively poor psychometric properties and lack associations with other constructs associated with undergraduate professional behaviour. The findings suggest that such questions should not be included in undergraduate examinations and may raise issues with the introduction of Situational Judgement Tests into Foundation Years selection.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-11-43
PMCID: PMC3146946  PMID: 21714870
2.  A holistic review of the medical school admission process: examining correlates of academic underperformance 
Medical Education Online  2014;19:10.3402/meo.v19.22919.
Background
Despite medical school admission committees’ best efforts, a handful of seemingly capable students invariably struggle during their first year of study. Yet, even as entrance criteria continue to broaden beyond cognitive qualifications, attention inevitably reverts back to such factors when seeking to understand these phenomena. Using a host of applicant, admission, and post-admission variables, the purpose of this inductive study, then, was to identify a constellation of student characteristics that, taken collectively, would be predictive of students at-risk of underperforming during the first year of medical school. In it, we hypothesize that a wider range of factors than previously recognized could conceivably play roles in understanding why students experience academic problems early in the medical educational continuum.
Methods
The study sample consisted of the five most recent matriculant cohorts from a large, southeastern medical school (n=537). Independent variables reflected: 1) the personal demographics of applicants (e.g., age, gender); 2) academic criteria (e.g., undergraduate grade point averages [GPA], medical college admission test); 3) selection processes (e.g., entrance track, interview scores, committee votes); and 4) other indicators of personality and professionalism (e.g., Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test™ emotional intelligence scores, NEO PI-R™ personality profiles, and appearances before the Professional Code Committee [PCC]). The dependent variable, first-year underperformance, was defined as ANY action (repeat, conditionally advance, or dismiss) by the college's Student Progress and Promotions Committee (SPPC) in response to predefined academic criteria. This study protocol was approved by the local medical institutional review board (IRB).
Results
Of the 537 students comprising the study sample, 61 (11.4%) met the specified criterion for academic underperformance. Significantly increased academic risks were identified among students who 1) had lower mean undergraduate science GPAs (OR=0.24, p=0.001); 2) entered medical school via an accelerated BS/MD track (OR=16.15, p=0.002); 3) were 31 years of age or older (OR=14.76, p=0.005); and 4) were non-unanimous admission committee admits (OR=0.53, p=0.042). Two dimensions of the NEO PI-R™ personality inventory, openness (+) and conscientiousness (−), were modestly but significantly correlated with academic underperformance. Only for the latter, however, were mean scores found to differ significantly between academic performers and underperformers. Finally, appearing before the college's PCC (OR=4.21, p=0.056) fell just short of statistical significance.
Conclusions
Our review of various correlates across the matriculation process highlights the heterogeneity of factors underlying students’ underperformance during the first year of medical school and challenges medical educators to understand the complexity of predicting who, among admitted matriculants, may be at future academic risk.
doi:10.3402/meo.v19.22919
PMCID: PMC3974177  PMID: 24695362
admissions; underperformance; selection; at-risk students
3.  Exploring reflective 'critical incident' documentation of professionalism lapses in a medical undergraduate setting 
Background
Measuring professionalism in undergraduate medical students is a difficult process, and no one method has currently emerged as the definitive means of assessment in this field. Student skills in reflection have been shown to be highly important in the development of professional behaviours. By studying student reflections on lapses in professional judgement, recorded as 'critical incidents', it is possible to explore themes which are significant for the development of professional behaviour in an undergraduate setting.
Methods
We examined critical incident reporting combined with optional written student reflection as a method for exploring professionalism in undergraduate medical students. 228 students split between Year 1 and 2 of one academic year of undergraduate medicine were studied retrospectively and a grounded theory approach to analysis was employed.
Results
This year generated 16 critical incident reports and corresponding student reflections, all of which were considered. In addition to identifying the nature of the critical incidents, 3 principal themes emerged. These were the impact and consequences of the report having been made, student reactions to the events (both positive and negative), and student responses regarding future actions.
Conclusion
This study indicates that unprofessional behaviour can be identified and challenged by both the faculty and the students involved, and suggests that positive behavioural changes might be made with the aim of preventing future occurrences. We provide a low cost approach of measuring and recording professional behaviour.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-9-44
PMCID: PMC2714848  PMID: 19604378
4.  Individual characteristics and student’s engagement in scientific research: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Medical Education  2012;12:95.
Background
In light of the increasing recognition of the importance of physician scientists, and given the association between undergraduate research experiences with future scientific activity, it is important to identify and understand variables related to undergraduate students’ decision to engage in scientific research activities. The present study assessed the influence of individual characteristics, including personality traits and socio-demographic characteristics, on voluntary engagement in scientific research of undergraduate medical students.
Methods
For this study, all undergraduate students and alumni of the School of Health Sciences in Minho, Portugal were invited to participate in a survey about voluntary engagement in scientific research activities. Data were available on socio-demographic, personality and university admission variables, as part of an ongoing longitudinal study. A regression model was used to compare (1) engaged with (2) not engaged students. A classification and regression tree model was used to compare students engaged in (3) elective curricular research (4) and extra-curricular research.
Results
A total of 466 students (88%) answered the survey. A complete set of data was available for 435 students (83%).
Higher scores in admission grade point average and the personality dimensions of “openness to experience” and “conscientiousness” increased chances of engagement. Higher “extraversion” scores had the opposite effect. Male undergraduate students were two times more likely than females to engage in curricular elective scientific research and were also more likely to engage in extra-curricular research activities.
Conclusions
This study demonstrated that student’ grade point average and individual characteristics, like gender, openness and consciousness have a unique and statistically significant contribution to students’ involvement in undergraduate scientific research activities.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-12-95
PMCID: PMC3515434  PMID: 23066758
5.  Summative assessments are more powerful drivers of student learning than resource intensive teaching formats 
BMC Medicine  2013;11:61.
Background
Electrocardiogram (ECG) interpretation is a core clinical skill that needs to be acquired during undergraduate medical education. Intensive teaching is generally assumed to produce more favorable learning outcomes, but recent research suggests that examinations are more powerful drivers of student learning than instructional format. This study assessed the differential contribution of teaching format and examination consequences to learning outcome regarding ECG interpretation skills in undergraduate medical students.
Methods
A total of 534 fourth-year medical students participated in a six-group (two sets of three), partially randomized trial. Students received three levels of teaching intensity: self-directed learning (two groups), lectures (two groups) or small-group peer teaching facilitated by more advanced students (two groups). One of the two groups on each level of teaching intensity was assessed in a formative, the other in a summative written ECG examination, which provided a maximum of 1% credit points of the total curriculum. The formative examination provided individual feedback without credit points. Main outcome was the correct identification of ≥3 out of 5 diagnoses in original ECG tracings. Secondary outcome measures were time spent on independent study and use of additional study material.
Results
Compared with formative assessments, summative assessments increased the odds of correctly identifying at least three out of five ECG diagnoses (OR 5.14; 95% CI 3.26 to 8.09), of spending at least 2 h/week extra on ECG self-study (OR 4.02; 95% CI 2.65 to 6.12) and of using additional learning material (OR 2.86; 95% CI 1.92 to 4.24). Lectures and peer teaching were associated with increased learning effort only, but did not augment examination performance.
Conclusions
Medical educators need to be aware of the paramount role of summative assessments in promoting student learning. Consequently, examinations within medical schools need to be closely matched to the desired learning outcomes. Shifting resources from implementing innovative and costly teaching formats to designing more high-quality summative examinations warrants further investigation.
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-11-61
PMCID: PMC3635879  PMID: 23497243
assessment; electrocardiogram; medical education; teaching
6.  Can personal qualities of medical students predict in-course examination success and professional behaviour? An exploratory prospective cohort study 
BMC Medical Education  2012;12:69.
Background
Over two-thirds of UK medical schools are augmenting their selection procedures for medical students by using the United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT), which employs tests of cognitive and non-cognitive personal qualities, but clear evidence of the tests’ predictive validity is lacking. This study explores whether academic performance and professional behaviours that are important in a health professional context can be predicted by these measures, when taken before or very early in the medical course.
Methods
This prospective cohort study follows the progress of the entire student cohort who entered Hull York Medical School in September 2007, having taken the UKCAT cognitive tests in 2006 and the non-cognitive tests a year later. This paper reports on the students’ first and second academic years of study. The main outcome measures were regular, repeated tutor assessment of individual students’ interpersonal skills and professional behaviour, and annual examination performance in the three domains of recall and application of knowledge, evaluation of data, and communication and practical clinical skills. The relationships between non-cognitive test scores, cognitive test scores, tutor assessments and examination results were explored using the Pearson product–moment correlations for each group of data; the data for students obtaining the top and bottom 20% of the summative examination results were compared using Analysis of Variance.
Results
Personal qualities measured by non-cognitive tests showed a number of statistically significant relationships with ratings of behaviour made by tutors, with performance in each year’s objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs), and with themed written summative examination marks in each year. Cognitive ability scores were also significantly related to each year’s examination results, but seldom to professional behaviours. The top 20% of examination achievers could be differentiated from the bottom 20% on both non-cognitive and cognitive measures.
Conclusions
This study shows numerous significant relationships between both cognitive and non-cognitive test scores, academic examination scores and indicators of professional behaviours in medical students. This suggests that measurement of non-cognitive personal qualities in applicants to medical school could make a useful contribution to selection and admission decisions. Further research is required in larger representative groups, and with more refined predictor measures and behavioural assessment methods, to establish beyond doubt the incremental validity of such measures over conventional cognitive assessments.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-12-69
PMCID: PMC3473297  PMID: 22873571
7.  Attitudes of Pakistani and Pakistani heritage medical students regarding professionalism at a medical college in Karachi, Pakistan 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:150.
Background
An increased interest in professionalism has been reported in the field of medical education due to concerns regarding deterioration of humanism and professional values in the teaching and practice of medicine. The primary aim of this study was to assess attitudes of Pakistani and Pakistani heritage students at a medical college in Pakistan about important elements of professionalism that an ideal medical doctor should possess. A further objective of the study was to determine students’ preferred ways of learning professionalism.
Methods
A written survey was distributed to undergraduate medical students at a public sector medical college at Karachi, Pakistan in 2011. Using the Penn State College of Medicine (PSCOM) Professionalism Questionnaire, attitudes of medical students of semester 1, 5, and 8 regarding professionalism were assessed anonymously.
Results
The mean age of the students was 21.11 ± 2.72 years. Forty-three percent of the respondents were male. Forty percent of the students held Pakistani citizenship. Thirty-five percent students were US citizens with Pakistani parents and twenty-five percent were Pakistani heritage students that had dual citizenships. No significant differences in the elements of professionalism (Accountability, Altruism, Duty, Excellence, Honesty & Integrity and Respect) mean scores or in the overall mean score of professionalism among the various classes were found. The total overall Cronbach alpha value for all elements of the professionalism in the selected classes was above 0.9. The most preferred methods for learning professionalism were role modeling by faculty, case based scenarios and role plays.
Conclusion
The students rated all the attributes of professionalism as important and there was no difference across the study years. The overall internal consistency of each element of professionalism was high in different classes. Faculty role models, case based scenarios and role plays may be used to teach professionalism. As a great majority of students were having a Pakistani heritage rather than complete Pakistani born and bred background, hence findings of the survey may not be taken as representative of typical Pakistani medical students.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-7-150
PMCID: PMC3995519  PMID: 24628768
Professionalism; Attributes; Medical education; Undergraduate medical students; Pakistan
8.  Factors in Medical Student Beliefs about Electronic Health Record Use 
Healthcare providers’ ongoing investment in electronic health records (EHRs) necessitates an understanding of physicians’ expectations about using EHRs. Such understanding may aid educators and administrators when utilizing scarce resources during EHR training and implementation activities. This study aimed to link individual medical student characteristics to their perceptions of EHRs’ ease of use and usefulness. This study employed a cross-sectional survey of 126 third-year medical students at a large southeastern university. Using a questionnaire designed for this study and containing previously validated items, the study team measured and related students’ expectations about EHR ease of use and usefulness to their computer self-efficacy, openness to change, personality traits, and demographic characteristics. On a seven-point scale, men reported, on average, ease-of-use scores that were 0.71 higher than women's (p < .001). Also, increased computer self-efficacy related to higher expectations of EHR ease of use (p < .01) and usefulness (p < .05). Openness-to-change scores were also associated with higher expectations of EHR ease of use (p < .01) and usefulness (p < .001). Finally, a more conscientious personality was positively associated with EHR ease of use (p < .01). Our findings suggest that medical educators and administrators may consider targeting EHR management strategies on the basis of individual differences. Enhanced training and support interventions may be helpful to women or to clinicians with lower computer self-efficacy, lower openness to change, or less conscientious personalities. Also, current and future physicians who rate higher in terms of self-efficacy, openness to change, or conscientiousness may be useful as champions of EHR use among their peers.
PMCID: PMC3995485  PMID: 24808813
electronic health records; organizational management; medical education; training; user acceptance
9.  Medical Students' Exposure to and Attitudes about the Pharmaceutical Industry: A Systematic Review 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(5):e1001037.
A systematic review of published studies reveals that undergraduate medical students may experience substantial exposure to pharmaceutical marketing, and that this contact may be associated with positive attitudes about marketing.
Background
The relationship between health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry has become a source of controversy. Physicians' attitudes towards the industry can form early in their careers, but little is known about this key stage of development.
Methods and Findings
We performed a systematic review reported according to PRISMA guidelines to determine the frequency and nature of medical students' exposure to the drug industry, as well as students' attitudes concerning pharmaceutical policy issues. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, and ERIC from the earliest available dates through May 2010, as well as bibliographies of selected studies. We sought original studies that reported quantitative or qualitative data about medical students' exposure to pharmaceutical marketing, their attitudes about marketing practices, relationships with industry, and related pharmaceutical policy issues. Studies were separated, where possible, into those that addressed preclinical versus clinical training, and were quality rated using a standard methodology. Thirty-two studies met inclusion criteria. We found that 40%–100% of medical students reported interacting with the pharmaceutical industry. A substantial proportion of students (13%–69%) were reported as believing that gifts from industry influence prescribing. Eight studies reported a correlation between frequency of contact and favorable attitudes toward industry interactions. Students were more approving of gifts to physicians or medical students than to government officials. Certain attitudes appeared to change during medical school, though a time trend was not performed; for example, clinical students (53%–71%) were more likely than preclinical students (29%–62%) to report that promotional information helps educate about new drugs.
Conclusions
Undergraduate medical education provides substantial contact with pharmaceutical marketing, and the extent of such contact is associated with positive attitudes about marketing and skepticism about negative implications of these interactions. These results support future research into the association between exposure and attitudes, as well as any modifiable factors that contribute to attitudinal changes during medical education.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
The complex relationship between health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry has long been a subject of discussion among physicians and policymakers. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that physicians' interactions with pharmaceutical sales representatives may influence clinical decision making in a way that is not always in the best interests of individual patients, for example, encouraging the use of expensive treatments that have no therapeutic advantage over less costly alternatives. The pharmaceutical industry often uses physician education as a marketing tool, as in the case of Continuing Medical Education courses that are designed to drive prescribing practices.
One reason that physicians may be particularly susceptible to pharmaceutical industry marketing messages is that doctors' attitudes towards the pharmaceutical industry may form early in their careers. The socialization effect of professional schooling is strong, and plays a lasting role in shaping views and behaviors.
Why Was This Study Done?
Recently, particularly in the US, some medical schools have limited students' and faculties' contact with industry, but some have argued that these restrictions are detrimental to students' education. Given the controversy over the pharmaceutical industry's role in undergraduate medical training, consolidating current knowledge in this area may be useful for setting priorities for changes to educational practices. In this study, the researchers systematically examined studies of pharmaceutical industry interactions with medical students and whether such interactions influenced students' views on related topics.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers did a comprehensive literature search using appropriate search terms for all relevant quantitative and qualitative studies published before June 2010. Using strict inclusion criteria, the researchers then selected 48 articles (from 1,603 abstracts) for full review and identified 32 eligible for analysis—giving a total of approximately 9,850 medical students studying at 76 medical schools or hospitals.
Most students had some form of interaction with the pharmaceutical industry but contact increased in the clinical years, with up to 90% of all clinical students receiving some form of educational material. The highest level of exposure occurred in the US. In most studies, the majority of students in their clinical training years found it ethically permissible for medical students to accept gifts from drug manufacturers, while a smaller percentage of preclinical students reported such attitudes. Students justified their entitlement to gifts by citing financial hardship or by asserting that most other students accepted gifts. In addition, although most students believed that education from industry sources is biased, students variably reported that information obtained from industry sources was useful and a valuable part of their education.
Almost two-thirds of students reported that they were immune to bias induced by promotion, gifts, or interactions with sales representatives but also reported that fellow medical students or doctors are influenced by such encounters. Eight studies reported a relationship between exposure to the pharmaceutical industry and positive attitudes about industry interactions and marketing strategies (although not all included supportive statistical data). Finally, student opinions were split on whether physician–industry interactions should be regulated by medical schools or the government.
What Do These Findings Mean?
This analysis shows that students are frequently exposed to pharmaceutical marketing, even in the preclinical years, and that the extent of students' contact with industry is generally associated with positive attitudes about marketing and skepticism towards any negative implications of interactions with industry. Therefore, strategies to educate students about interactions with the pharmaceutical industry should directly address widely held misconceptions about the effects of marketing and other biases that can emerge from industry interactions. But education alone may be insufficient. Institutional policies, such as rules regulating industry interactions, can play an important role in shaping students' attitudes, and interventions that decrease students' contact with industry and eliminate gifts may have a positive effect on building the skills that evidence-based medical practice requires. These changes can help cultivate strong professional values and instill in students a respect for scientific principles and critical evidence review that will later inform clinical decision-making and prescribing practices.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001037.
Further information about the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on doctors and medical students can be found at the American Medical Students Association PharmFree campaign and PharmFree Scorecard, Medsin-UKs PharmAware campaign, the nonprofit organization Healthy Skepticism, and the Web site of No Free Lunch.
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001037
PMCID: PMC3101205  PMID: 21629685
10.  Pilot study of the roles of personality, references, and personal statements in relation to performance over the five years of a medical degree 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2003;326(7386):429-432.
Objectives
To compare the power of three traditional selection procedures (A levels, personal statements, and references) and one non-traditional selection procedure (personality) to predict performance over the five years of a medical degree.
Design
Cohort study over five years.
Setting
Nottingham medical school.
Participants
Entrants in 1995.
Main outcome measures
A level grades, amounts of information contained in teacher's reference and the student's personal statement, and personality scores examined in relation to 18 different assessments.
Results
Information in the teacher's reference did not consistently predict performance. Information in the personal statement was predictive of clinical aspects of training, whereas A level grades primarily predicted preclinical performance. The personality domain of conscientiousness was consistently the best predictor across the course. A structural model indicated that conscientiousness was positively related to A level grades and preclinical performance but was negatively related to clinical grades.
Conclusion
A teacher's reference is of no practical use in predicting clinical performance of medical students, in contrast to the amount of information contained in the personal statement. Therefore, simple quantification of the personal statement should aid selection. Personality factors, in particular conscientiousness, need to be considered and integrated into selection procedures.
PMCID: PMC163931  PMID: 12595384
11.  Personality Traits Affect Teaching Performance of Attending Physicians: Results of a Multi-Center Observational Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e98107.
Background
Worldwide, attending physicians train residents to become competent providers of patient care. To assess adequate training, attending physicians are increasingly evaluated on their teaching performance. Research suggests that personality traits affect teaching performance, consistent with studied effects of personality traits on job performance and academic performance in medicine. However, up till date, research in clinical teaching practice did not use quantitative methods and did not account for specialty differences. We empirically studied the relationship of attending physicians' personality traits with their teaching performance across surgical and non-surgical specialties.
Method
We conducted a survey across surgical and non-surgical specialties in eighteen medical centers in the Netherlands. Residents evaluated attending physicians' overall teaching performance, as well as the specific domains learning climate, professional attitude, communication, evaluation, and feedback, using the validated 21-item System for Evaluation of Teaching Qualities (SETQ). Attending physicians self-evaluated their personality traits on a 5-point scale using the validated 10-item Big Five Inventory (BFI), yielding the Five Factor model: extraversion, conscientiousness, neuroticism, agreeableness and openness.
Results
Overall, 622 (77%) attending physicians and 549 (68%) residents participated. Extraversion positively related to overall teaching performance (regression coefficient, B: 0.05, 95% CI: 0.01 to 0.10, P = 0.02). Openness was negatively associated with scores on feedback for surgical specialties only (B: −0.10, 95% CI: −0.15 to −0.05, P<0.001) and conscientiousness was positively related to evaluation of residents for non-surgical specialties only (B: 0.13, 95% CI: 0.03 to 0.22, p = 0.01).
Conclusions
Extraverted attending physicians were consistently evaluated as better supervisors. Surgical attending physicians who display high levels of openness were evaluated as less adequate feedback-givers. Non-surgical attending physicians who were conscientious seem to be good at evaluating residents. These insights could contribute to future work on development paths of attending physicians in medical education.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0098107
PMCID: PMC4028262  PMID: 24844725
12.  Western medical ethics taught to junior medical students can cross cultural and linguistic boundaries 
BMC Medical Ethics  2004;5:4.
Background
Little is known about teaching medical ethics across cultural and linguistic boundaries. This study examined two successive cohorts of first year medical students in a six year undergraduate MBBS program.
Methods
The objective was to investigate whether Arabic speaking students studying medicine in an Arabic country would be able to correctly identify some of the principles of Western medical ethical reasoning. This cohort study was conducted on first year students in a six-year undergraduate program studying medicine in English, their second language at a medical school in the Arabian Gulf. The ethics teaching was based on the four-principle approach (autonomy, beneficence, non-malfeasance and justice) and delivered by a non-Muslim native English speaker with no knowledge of the Arabic language. Although the course was respectful of Arabic culture and tradition, the content excluded an analysis of Islamic medical ethics and focused on Western ethical reasoning. Following two 45-minute interactive seminars, students in groups of 3 or 4 visited a primary health care centre for one morning, sitting in with an attending physician seeing his or her patients in Arabic. Each student submitted a personal report for summative assessment detailing the ethical issues they had observed.
Results
All 62 students enrolled in these courses participated. Each student acting independently was able to correctly identify a median number of 4 different medical ethical issues (range 2–9) and correctly identify and label accurately a median of 2 different medical ethical issues (range 2–7) There were no significant correlations between their English language skills or general academic ability and the number or accuracy of ethical issues identified.
Conclusions
This study has demonstrated that these students could identify medical ethical issues based on Western constructs, despite learning in English, their second language, being in the third week of their medical school experience and with minimal instruction. This result was independent of their academic and English language skills suggesting that ethical principles as espoused in the four principal approach may be common to the students' Islamic religious beliefs, allowing them to access complex medical ethical reasoning skills at an early stage in the medical curriculum.
doi:10.1186/1472-6939-5-4
PMCID: PMC509252  PMID: 15283868
13.  A preliminary investigation on the relationship between virtues and pathological internet use among Chinese adolescents 
Background
Pathological Internet Use (PIU) has become a global issue associated with the increasing number of Internet users. Previous studies concerned both the interpersonal and intrapersonal vulnerable factors and the corresponding models. However, a limited amount of research has explored the relationship between positive factors and PIU.
Objective
The current investigation attempted to clarify the relationship between virtues and PIU among Chinese adolescents; it also sought to explore the specific contributions of the three virtues. Virtue was the core concept in positive psychology and the Values in Action Classification. A recent study demonstrated that there might be three universal virtues (relationship, vitality, and conscientiousness).
Methods
A cross-sectional sample of adolescents aged 12-17 years were recruited in 2013. A total of 674 adolescents (males = 302, females = 372; junior high school = 296, senior high school = 378) from eight junior and senior high schools in four provinces of Mainland China completed a package of psychological inventories, including the Chinese Virtues Questionnaire (CVQ) and the Adolescent Pathological Internet Use Scale (APIUS). The mean age of the current sample was 15.10 years (SD = 1.81) with an average of 5.31 years’ length (SD = 2.09) of Internet use.
Results
A total of 9.50% participants exhibited significant symptoms of PIU. Male students (Mmale = 2.50) had significantly higher scores on PIU than female students (Mfemale = 2.25). Relationship (β = -.24) and conscientiousness (β = -.21) negatively predicted PIU, whereas vitality (β = .25) positively predicted PIU. Dominance analysis further revealed that relationship and conscientiousness could explain 81% variance of PIU, and vitality only accounted for another 19%.
Conclusions
Relationship and conscientiousness were possible protective factors of pathological Internet users, while vitality was vulnerable. The results could be helpful in screening “at-risk” Internet users (low relationship and conscientiousness as well as high vitality). Future intervention strategies could focus on how to enhance relationship and conscientiousness and on how to reduce vitality.
doi:10.1186/1753-2000-8-8
PMCID: PMC3995982  PMID: 24594317
Virtue; Pathological Internet use; Vitality; Conscientiousness; Relationship
14.  Arthroscopy or ultrasound in undergraduate anatomy education: a randomized cross-over controlled trial 
BMC Medical Education  2012;12:85.
Background
The exponential growth of image-based diagnostic and minimally invasive interventions requires a detailed three-dimensional anatomical knowledge and increases the demand towards the undergraduate anatomical curriculum. This randomized controlled trial investigates whether musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSUS) or arthroscopic methods can increase the anatomical knowledge uptake.
Methods
Second-year medical students were randomly allocated to three groups. In addition to the compulsory dissection course, the ultrasound group (MSUS) was taught by eight, didactically and professionally trained, experienced student-teachers and the arthroscopy group (ASK) was taught by eight experienced physicians. The control group (CON) acquired the anatomical knowledge only via the dissection course. Exposure (MSUS and ASK) took place in two separate lessons (75 minutes each, shoulder and knee joint) and introduced standard scan planes using a 10-MHz ultrasound system as well as arthroscopy tutorials at a simulator combined with video tutorials. The theoretical anatomic learning outcomes were tested using a multiple-choice questionnaire (MCQ), and after cross-over an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). Differences in student’s perceptions were evaluated using Likert scale-based items.
Results
The ASK-group (n = 70, age 23.4 (20–36) yrs.) performed moderately better in the anatomical MC exam in comparison to the MSUS-group (n = 84, age 24.2 (20–53) yrs.) and the CON-group (n = 88, 22.8 (20–33) yrs.; p = 0.019). After an additional arthroscopy teaching 1% of students failed the MC exam, in contrast to 10% in the MSUS- or CON-group, respectively. The benefit of the ASK module was limited to the shoulder area (p < 0.001). The final examination (OSCE) showed no significant differences between any of the groups with good overall performances. In the evaluation, the students certified the arthroscopic tutorial a greater advantage concerning anatomical skills with higher spatial imagination in comparison to the ultrasound tutorial (p = 0.002; p < 0.001).
Conclusions
The additional implementation of arthroscopy tutorials to the dissection course during the undergraduate anatomy training is profitable and attractive to students with respect to complex joint anatomy. Simultaneous teaching of basic-skills in musculoskeletal ultrasound should be performed by medical experts, but seems to be inferior to the arthroscopic 2D-3D-transformation, and is regarded by students as more difficult to learn. Although arthroscopy and ultrasound teaching do not have a major effect on learning joint anatomy, they have the potency to raise the interest in surgery.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-12-85
PMCID: PMC3473305  PMID: 22958784
Arthroscopy; Education, Anatomic competence, Randomized controlled trial, Knee joint, Shoulder joint, Students; Medical, Musculoskeletal ultrasound
15.  Cohort study of examination performance of undergraduate medical students learning in community settings 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2004;328(7433):207-209.
Objectives To determine whether moving clinical medical education out of the tertiary hospital into a community setting compromises academic standards.
Design Cohort study.
Setting Flinders University four year graduate entry medical course. In their third year, students are able to choose to study at the tertiary teaching hospital in Adelaide, in rural general practices, or at Royal Darwin Hospital, a regional secondary referral hospital.
Participants All 371 medical students who did their year 3 study from 1998-2002.
Main outcome measures Mean student examination score (%) at the end of year 3.
Results The unadjusted mean year 3 scores at each location differed significantly (P < 0.001); the mean score was 65.2 (SE = 0.43) for Adelaide students, 68.2 (0.83) for Darwin students, and 69.3 (0.97) for students on the rural programme. Mean year 2 scores were similar for each location. Post hoc tests of means adjusted for sex, age, year 2 score, and cohort year showed that the rural and Darwin groups had a significantly improved score in year 3 compared with the Adelaide group (adjusted mean difference = 3.08, 95% confidence interval 1.25 to 4.90, P < 0.001 for rural group; 1.91, 0.47 to 3.36, P = 0.001 for Darwin group).
Conclusions These findings show that the concern that student academic performance in the tertiary hospital would be better than that of students in the regional hospital and community settings is not justified. This challenges the orthodoxy of a tertiary hospital education being the gold standard for undergraduate medical students.
PMCID: PMC318489  PMID: 14739189
16.  Do different medical curricula influence self-assessed clinical thinking of students? 
Objectives: As a fundamental element of medical practice, clinical reasoning should be cultivated in courses of study in human medicine. To date, however, no conclusive evidence has been offered as to what forms of teaching and learning are most effective in achieving this goal. The Diagnostic Thinking Inventory (DTI) was developed as a means of measuring knowledge-unrelated components of clinical reasoning. The present pilot study examines the adequacy of this instrument in measuring differences in the clinical reasoning of students in varying stages of education in three curricula of medical studies.
Methods: The Diagnostic Thinking Inventory (DTI) comprises 41 items in two subscales (“Flexibility in Thinking” and “Structure of Knowledge in Memory”). Each item contains a statement or finding concerning clinical reasoning in the form of a stem under which a 6-point scale presents opposing conclusions. The subjects are asked to assess their clinical thinking within this range. The German-language version of the DTI was completed by 247 student volunteers from three schools and varying clinical semesters. In a quasi-experimental design, 219 subjects from traditional and model courses of study in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia took part. Specifically, these were 5th, 6th and 8th semester students from the model course of study at Witten/Herdecke University (W/HU), from the model (7th and 9th semester) and traditional (7th semester) courses of study at the Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) and from the model course of study (9th semester) at the University of Cologne (UoC). The data retrieved were quantitatively assessed.
Results: The reliability of the questionnaire in its entirety was good (Cronbach’s alpha between 0.71 and 0.83); the reliability of the subscales ranged between 0.49 and 0.75. The different groups were compared using the Mann-Whitney test, revealing significant differences among semester cohorts within a school as well as between students from similar academic years in different schools. Among the participants from the model course of study at the W/HU, scores increased from the 5th to the 6th semester and from the 5th to the 9th semester. Among individual cohorts at RUB, no differences could be established between model and traditional courses of study or between 7th and 9th semester students in model courses of study. Comparing all participating highest semester students, the 8th semester participants from the W/HU achieved the highest scores – significantly higher than those of 9th semester RUB students or 9th semester UoC students. Scores from the RUB 9th semester participants were significantly higher than those of the 9th semester UoC participants.
Discussion: The German-language version of the DTI measures self-assessed differences in diagnostic reasoning among students from various semesters and different model and traditional courses of study with satisfactory reliability. The results can be used for discussion in the context of diverse curricula. The DTI is therefore appropriate for further research that can then be correlated with the different teaching method characteristics and outcomes of various curricula.
doi:10.3205/zma000915
PMCID: PMC4027808  PMID: 24872858
clinical thinking; clinical reasoning; PBL; diagnostic thinking inventory
17.  Teaching medical students on the ethical dimensions of human rights: meeting the challenge in South Africa. 
Journal of Medical Ethics  1998;24(4):257-262.
SETTING: Previous health policies in South Africa neglected the teaching of ethics and human rights to health professionals. In April 1995, a pilot course was run at the University of Cape Town in which the ethical dimensions of human rights issues in South Africa were explored. OBJECTIVES: To compare knowledge and attitudes of participating students with a group of control students. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SUBJECTS: Seventeen fourth-year medical students who participated in the course and 13 control students from the same class, matched for gender. INTERVENTIONS: Students participated in a one-week module on ethics and human rights. Five months after the course had been run, students completed a semi-structured questionnaire exploring their knowledge and attitudes with regards to ethics and human rights issues. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Knowledge scores, attitude scores and various individual indicators of attitude. RESULTS: Clear benefits for overall knowledge score, for four out of five individual knowledge questions and for one of the attitude questions, were demonstrated. Participating students also appeared to be more convinced of the need for teaching on the ethical dimensions of human rights at postgraduate level and that such teaching should also be integrated in the curriculum. The low response rate amongst controls may have selected students who were more socially conscious, thereby leading to an underestimate of the true impact of the course. CONCLUSION: The evaluation indicates clear benefits of the course for undergraduate students, and supports arguments for the inclusion of such courses in the training of health professionals. This is particularly important given the challenges posed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to the health professions to address past complicity in human rights abuses through reorientation of medical training in South Africa.
PMCID: PMC1377678  PMID: 9752629
18.  Does Gender Moderate Medical Students’ Assessments of Unprofessional Behavior? 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2012;27(12):1643-1648.
ABSTRACT
BACKGROUND
Despite widespread acceptance of professionalism as a clinical competency, the role of certain contextual factors in assessing certain behaviors remains unknown.
OBJECTIVE
To examine the potential moderating role of gender in assessing unprofessional behaviors during undergraduate medical training.
DESIGN
Randomized, anonymous, self-administered questionnaire.
PARTICIPANTS
Ninety seven (97) third-year students from a southeastern U.S. medical school (participation rate = 95.1 %).
MAIN MEASURES
Using a 4-point Likert-type scale, subjects reviewed two subsets of randomly administered, equally weighted hypothetical vignettes depicting potentially unprofessional behaviors that could occur during medical students’ clinical training. Ratings were categorized from 1 –“Not a Problem” to 4 –“A Severe Problem”, based on the perceived degree of unprofessionalism. In each written scenario, trainee gender was systematically varied.
KEY RESULTS
Across all scenario subsets, male and female students’ mean ratings of hypothetical behaviors did not differ significantly. Further, male and female students tended, on average, to rate behaviors similarly regardless of the trainee’s gender.
CONCLUSION
Study findings suggest that: (1) neither students’ gender nor that of the hypothetical “actor” moderates the assessment of unprofessional behaviors; and (2) male and female students assign roughly the same overall rankings to potentially unprofessional behaviors.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-012-2152-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s11606-012-2152-z
PMCID: PMC3509307  PMID: 22829292
professionalism; gender; medical education; unprofessional behavior
19.  Low Conscientiousness and Risk of All-Cause, Cardiovascular and Cancer Mortality over 17 Years: Whitehall II Cohort Study 
Objective
To examine the personality trait conscientiousness as a risk factor for mortality and to identify candidate explanatory mechanisms.
Methods
Participants in the Whitehall II cohort study (N = 6800, aged 34 to 55 at recruitment in 1985) completed two self-reported items measuring conscientiousness in 1991–1993 (‘I am overly conscientious’ and ‘I am overly perfectionistic’, Cronbach's α = .72), the baseline for this study. Age, socio-economic status (SES), social support, health behaviours, physiological variables and minor psychiatric morbidity were also recorded at baseline. The vital status of participants was then monitored for a mean of 17 years. All-cause and cause-specific mortality was ascertained through linkage to a national mortality register until January 2010.
Results
Each 1 standard deviation decrease in conscientiousness was associated with a 10% increase in all-cause (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.10, 95% CI 1.003, 1.20) mortality. Patterns were similar for cardiovascular (HR = 1.17, 95% CI 0.98, 1.39) and cancer mortality (HR = 1.10, 95% CI 0.96, 1.25), not reaching statistical significance. The association with all-cause mortality was attenuated by 5% after adjustment for SES, 13% for health behaviours, 14% for cardiovascular risk factors, 5% for minor psychiatric morbidity, 29% for all variables. Repeating analyses with each item separately and excluding participants who died within five years of personality assessment did not change the results materially.
Conclusion
Low conscientiousness in midlife is a risk factor for all-cause mortality. This association is only partly explained by health behaviours, SES, cardiovascular disease risk factors and minor psychiatric morbidity in midlife.
doi:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2012.05.007
PMCID: PMC3936113  PMID: 22789411
cohort study; conscientiousness; mortality; perfectionism; personality traits; socio-economic status
20.  Deliberate Apprenticeship in the Pediatric Emergency Department Improves Experience for Third-year Students 
INTRODUCTION
The Pediatric Emergency Department (PED) provides medical students with learning in a high-volume, fast-paced environment; characteristics that can be stressful for new students. Shadowing can improve transitioning, yet this alone does not facilitate students’ development of independent medical care competencies. This study evaluates if third-year medical students’ deliberate apprenticeship with senior residents increases students’ comfort and patient exposure in the PED.
METHODS
This study took place over the 2011–2012 academic year, and study participants were all third-year medical students during their pediatric clerkship rotation. This was a prospective educational intervention assigning students to randomized control blocks of deliberate apprenticeship (DA) intervention or control. DA students were paired with a senior resident who oriented and worked with the student, while control students were unpaired. All students completed a 20-question structured survey at shift end, which included questions about their perception of the learning environment, comfort with, and number of patient care responsibilities performed. We used independent Mann-Whitney and t-tests to compare experiences between the groups. Statistical significance was defined as p<0.05. We used the constant comparative method to qualitatively analyze students’ comments.
RESULTS
Response rate was 85% (145/169). Students also rated on 5-point Likert-scale their level of comfort with defined aspects of working in the PED. DA students (n=76) were significantly more comfortable obtaining histories (4.2 versus 3.8) and formulating differential diagnoses (3.9 versus 3.4). DA students also performed more physical exams (2.9 versus 2.4). We categorized themes from the qualitative analysis of the students’ comments about their PED experience. The titles for these themes are as follows: PED provides a good learning experience; uncertainty about the medical student’s role in the PED; third-year medical students compete with other learners for teaching attention; opportunities provided to medical students for inclusion in patient care; personal knowledge deficits limit the ability to participate in the PED; PED pace affects learning opportunities.
CONCLUSION
DA constitutes a feasible approach to the clinical learning environment that increases students’ patient care experiences and may ease transitioning for undergraduate medical students to new clinical environments.
doi:10.5811/westjem.2014.5.19647
PMCID: PMC4100848  PMID: 25035748
21.  Health-promoting factors in medical students and students of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics: design and baseline results of a comparative longitudinal study 
BMC Medical Education  2014;14:134.
Background
The negative impact of medical school on students' general and mental health has often been reported. Compared to students of other subjects, or employed peers, medical students face an increased risk of developing depression, anxiety and burnout. While pathogenetic factors have been studied extensively, less is known about health-promoting factors for medical students' health. This longitudinal study aims to identify predictors for maintaining good general and mental health during medical education. We report here the design of the study and its baseline results.
Methods
We initiated a prospective longitudinal cohort study at the University of Lübeck, Germany. Two consecutive classes of students, entering the university in 2011 and 2012, were recruited. Participants will be assessed annually for the duration of their course. We use validated psychometric instruments covering health outcomes (general and mental health) and personality traits, as well as self-developed, pre-tested items covering leisure activities and sociodemographic data.
Results
At baseline, compared to students of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects (n = 531; 60.8% response rate), a larger proportion of medical students (n = 350; 93.0% response rate) showed good general health (90.9% vs. 79.7%) and a similar proportion was in good mental health (88.3% vs. 86.3%). Medical students scored significantly higher in the personality traits of extraversion, conscientiousness, openness to experience and agreeableness. Neuroticism proved to be a statistically significant negative predictor for mental health in the logistic regression analyses. Satisfaction with life as a dimension of study-related behaviour and experience predicted general health at baseline. Physical activity was a statistically significant predictor for general health in medical students.
Conclusions
Baseline data revealed that medical students reported better general and similar mental health compared to STEM students. The annual follow-up questionnaires, combined with qualitative approaches, should clarify wether these differences reflect a higher resilience, a tendency to neglect personal health problems - as has been described for physicians - before entering medical school, or both. The final results may aid decision-makers in developing health-promotion programmes for medical students.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-14-134
PMCID: PMC4096732  PMID: 24996637
Medical students; Medical education; Mental health; Health promotion; Prevention; Personality assessment
22.  Regression of Moral Reasoning during Medical Education: Combined Design Study to Evaluate the Effect of Clinical Study Years 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(3):e17406.
Background
Moral reasoning is important for developing medical professionalism but current evidence for the relationship between education and moral reasoning does not clearly apply to medical students. We used a combined study design to test the effect of clinical teaching on moral reasoning.
Methods
We used the Defining Issues Test-2 as a measure of moral judgment, with 3 general moral schemas: Personal Interest, Maintaining Norms, and Postconventional Schema. The test was applied to 3 consecutive cohorts of second year students in 2002 (n = 207), 2003 (n = 192), and 2004 (n = 139), and to 707 students of all 6 study years in 2004 cross-sectional study. We also tested 298 age-matched controls without university education.
Results
In the cross-sectional study, there was significant main effect of the study year for Postconventional (F(5,679) = 3.67, P = 0.003) and Personal Interest scores (F(5,679) = 3.38, P = 0.005). There was no effect of the study year for Maintaining Norms scores. 3rd year medical students scored higher on Postconventional schema score than all other study years (p<0.001). There were no statistically significant differences among 3 cohorts of 2nd year medical students, demonstrating the absence of cohort or point-of-measurement effects. Longitudinal study of 3 cohorts demonstrated that students regressed from Postconventional to Maintaining Norms schema-based reasoning after entering the clinical part of the curriculum.
Interpretation
Our study demonstrated direct causative relationship between the regression in moral reasoning development and clinical teaching during medical curriculum. The reasons may include hierarchical organization of clinical practice, specific nature of moral dilemmas faced by medical students, and hidden medical curriculum.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017406
PMCID: PMC3068134  PMID: 21479204
23.  Empathy in senior year and first year medical students: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Medical Education  2011;11:52.
Background
The importance of fostering the development of empathy in undergraduate students is continuously emphasized in international recommendations for medical education. Paradoxically, some studies in the North-American context using self-reported measures have found that empathy declines during undergraduate medical training. Empathy is also known to be gender dependent- (highest for female medical students) and related to specialty preference - (higher in patient-oriented than technology-oriented specialties). This factor has not been studied in Portuguese medical schools.
Methods
This is a cross-sectional study of undergraduate medical students on self-rated measures of empathy collected at entrance and at the conclusion of the medical degree, and on the association of empathy measures with gender and specialty preferences in one medical school in Portugal. Empathy was assessed using the Portuguese adaptation of the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy-students version (JSPE-spv) among three cohorts of undergraduate medical students in the first (N = 356) and last (N = 120) year. The construct validity of JSPE-spv was cross-validated with Principal Component Analysis and Confirmatory Factor Analysis. Reliability was assessed using Cronbach' Alpha. Global JSPE-spv score differences were examined by year of medical school, gender and specialty preferences (people-oriented vs technology-oriented specialties).
Results
The empathy scores of students in the final year were higher as compared to first year students (F (1,387) = 19.33, p < .001, ɳ2p = 0.48; π = 0.99). Female students had higher empathy scores than male students (F (1,387) = 8.82, p < .01, ɳ 2p = 0.23; π = 0.84). Significant differences in empathy were not found between the students who prefer people-oriented specialties compared to those who favor the technology-oriented specialties (F (1,387) = 2.44, p = .12, ɳ 2p = 0.06; π = 0.06).
Conclusions
This cross-sectional study in one medical school in Portugal showed that the empathy measures of senior year students were higher than the scores of freshmen. A longitudinal cohort study is needed to test variations in students' empathy measures throughout medical school.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-11-52
PMCID: PMC3163625  PMID: 21801365
24.  Traditional microscopy instruction versus process-oriented virtual microscopy instruction: a naturalistic experiment with control group 
Diagnostic Pathology  2011;6(Suppl 1):S8.
Background
Virtual microscopy is being introduced in medical education as an approach for learning how to interpret information in microscopic specimens. It is, however, far from evident how to incorporate its use into existing teaching practice. The aim of the study was to explore the consequences of introducing virtual microscopy tasks into an undergraduate pathology course in an attempt to render the instruction more process-oriented. The research questions were: 1) How is virtual microscopy perceived by students? 2) Does work on virtual microscopy tasks contribute to improvement in performance in microscopic pathology in comparison with attending assistant-led demonstrations only?
Method
During a one-week period, an experimental group completed three sets of virtual microscopy homework assignments in addition to attending demonstrations. A control group attended the demonstrations only. Performance in microscopic pathology was measured by a pre-test and a post-test. Student perceptions of regular instruction and virtual microscopy were collected one month later by administering the Inventory of Intrinsic Motivation and open-ended questions.
Results
The students voiced an appreciation for virtual microscopy for the purposes of the course and for self-study. As for learning gains, the results indicated that learning was speeded up in a subgroup of students consisting of conscientious high achievers.
Conclusions
The enriched instruction model may be suited as such for elective courses following the basic course. However, the instructional model needs further development to be suited for basic courses.
doi:10.1186/1746-1596-6-S1-S8
PMCID: PMC3073226  PMID: 21489203
25.  Medical students-as-teachers: a systematic review of peer-assisted teaching during medical school 
Introduction
International interest in peer-teaching and peer-assisted learning (PAL) during undergraduate medical programs has grown in recent years, reflected both in literature and in practice. There, remains however, a distinct lack of objective clarity and consensus on the true effectiveness of peer-teaching and its short- and long-term impacts on learning outcomes and clinical practice.
Objective
To summarize and critically appraise evidence presented on peer-teaching effectiveness and its impact on objective learning outcomes of medical students.
Method
A literature search was conducted in four electronic databases. Titles and abstracts were screened and selection was based on strict eligibility criteria after examining full-texts. Two reviewers used a standard review and analysis framework to independently extract data from each study. Discrepancies in opinions were resolved by discussion in consultation with other reviewers. Adapted models of “Kirkpatrick’s Levels of Learning” were used to grade the impact size of study outcomes.
Results
From 127 potential titles, 41 were obtained as full-texts, and 19 selected after close examination and group deliberation. Fifteen studies focused on student-learner outcomes and four on student-teacher learning outcomes. Ten studies utilized randomized allocation and the majority of study participants were self-selected volunteers. Written examinations and observed clinical evaluations were common study outcome assessments. Eleven studies provided student-teachers with formal teacher training. Overall, results suggest that peer-teaching, in highly selective contexts, achieves short-term learner outcomes that are comparable with those produced by faculty-based teaching. Furthermore, peer-teaching has beneficial effects on student-teacher learning outcomes.
Conclusions
Peer-teaching in undergraduate medical programs is comparable to conventional teaching when utilized in selected contexts. There is evidence to suggest that participating student-teachers benefit academically and professionally. Long-term effects of peer-teaching during medical school remain poorly understood and future research should aim to address this.
doi:10.2147/AMEP.S14383
PMCID: PMC3661256  PMID: 23745087
peer-teaching; peer-assisted learning; near-peer teaching; medical student; medical school

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