The American College of Physicians (ACP), Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM), Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM), American Geriatric Society (AGS), American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) developed consensus standards to address the quality gaps in the transitions between inpatient and outpatient settings. The following summarized principles were established: 1.) Accountability; 2) Communication; 3.) Timely interchange of information; 4.) Involvement of the patient and family member; 5.) Respect the hub of coordination of care; 6.) All patients and their family/caregivers should have a medical home or coordinating clinician; 7.) At every point of transitions the patient and/or their family/caregivers need to know who is responsible for their care at that point; 9.) National standards; and 10.) Standardized metrics related to these standards in order to lead to quality improvement and accountability. Based on these principles, standards describing necessary components for implementation were developed: coordinating clinicians, care plans/transition record, communication infrastructure, standard communication formats, transition responsibility, timeliness, community standards, and measurement.
Physician workforce projections by the Institute of Medicine require enhanced training in geriatrics for all primary care and subspecialty physicians. Defining essential geriatrics competencies for internal medicine and family medicine residents would improve training for primary care and subspecialty physicians. The objectives of this study were to (1) define essential geriatrics competencies common to internal medicine and family medicine residents that build on established national geriatrics competencies for medical students, are feasible within current residency programs, are assessable, and address the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education competencies; and (2) involve key stakeholder organizations in their development and implementation.
Initial candidate competencies were defined through small group meetings and a survey of more than 100 experts, followed by detailed item review by 26 program directors and residency clinical educators from key professional organizations. Throughout, an 8-member working group made revisions to maintain consistency and compatibility among the competencies. Support and participation by key stakeholder organizations were secured throughout the project.
The process identified 26 competencies in 7 domains: Medication Management; Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Health; Complex or Chronic Illness(es) in Older Adults; Palliative and End-of-Life Care; Hospital Patient Safety; Transitions of Care; and Ambulatory Care. The competencies map directly onto the medical student geriatric competencies and the 6 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Competencies.
Through a consensus-building process that included leadership and members of key stakeholder organizations, a concise set of essential geriatrics competencies for internal medicine and family medicine residencies has been developed. These competencies are well aligned with concerns for residency training raised in a recent Medicare Payment Advisory Commission report to Congress. Work is underway through stakeholder organizations to disseminate and assess the competencies among internal medicine and family medicine residency programs.
Translational science consists of research and development that integrates multiple resources to expedite the successful treatment of disease. The International Park of Translational BioMedicine (IPTBM) is currently being developed within the interface between Zhejiang Province and Shanghai Municipality. IPTBM has been designed to pioneer comprehensive biomedical research that spans the continuum from the education of young scientists to providing the infrastructure necessary for clinical testing and direct observation to better understand human biology while promoting viable commercial results within a vibrant biotechnology community. IPTBM’s goal is to attract global partners organized around five fundamental pillars: 1) Institutional Development, 2) Project Implementation, 3) Development and Production, 4) Investment and 5) Regulatory Clusters to address the needs of an international platform of scientists, institutes, universities, commercial enterprises, investors, politicians, and other stakeholders. The IPTBM differs from existing models including CTSA’s (US, NIH) technology because of its comprehensive approach to merge education, research, innovation, and development to translate clinical and public health needs into target-oriented and cost-efficient projects.
Translational medicine; International; Projects; Development; Management; Strategy
It is challenging to create an educational and satisfying experience in the outpatient setting. We developed a 3-year ambulatory curriculum that addresses the special needs of our categorical medicine residents with distinct learning objectives for each year of training and clinical experiences and didactic sessions to meet these goals. All PGY1 residents spend 1 month on a general medicine ambulatory care rotation. PGY2 residents spend 3 months on an ambulatory block focusing on 8 core medicine subspecialties. Third-year residents spend 2 months on an advanced ambulatory rotation. The curriculum was started in July 2000 and has been highly regarded by the house staff, with statistically significant improvements in the PGY2 and PGY3 evaluation scores. By enhancing outpatient clinical teaching and didactics with an emphasis on the specific needs of our residents, we have been able to reframe the thinking and attitudes of a group of inpatient-oriented residents.
medical education; residency training; ambulatory medicine
There is a critical and growing need for emergency physicians and emergency medicine resources worldwide. To meet this need, physicians must be trained to deliver time-sensitive interventions and life-saving emergency care. Currently, there is no internationally recognized, standard curriculum that defines the basic minimum standards for emergency medicine education. To address this lack, the International Federation for Emergency Medicine (IFEM) convened a committee of international physicians, health professionals, and other experts in emergency medicine and international emergency medicine development to outline a curriculum for foundation training of medical students in emergency medicine. This curriculum document represents the consensus of recommendations by this committee. The curriculum is designed with a focus on the basic minimum emergency medicine educational content that any medical school should be delivering to its students during their undergraduate years of training. It is not designed to be prescriptive, but to assist educators and emergency medicine leadership in advancing physician education in basic emergency medicine content. The content would be relevant, not just for communities with mature emergency medicine systems, but also for developing nations or for nations seeking to expand emergency medicine within current educational structures. We anticipate that there will be wide variability in how this curriculum is implemented and taught, reflecting the existing educational milieu, the resources available, and the goals of the institutions’ educational leadership.
Curriculum; International emergency medicine; Medical education; Medical students
The importance of communication skills in veterinary medicine is increasingly recognised. Appropriate communication skills towards the client are of utmost importance in both companion animal practice and production animal field and consultancy work. The need for building a relationship with the client, alongside developing a structure for the consultation is widely recognised and applies to both types of veterinary practice.
Veterinary advisory practice in production animal medicine is, however, characterised by a more complex communication on different levels. While the person-orientated communication is a permanent process between veterinarian and client with a rather personal perspective and defines the roles of interaction, the problem-orientated communication deals with emerging difficulties; the objective is to solve an acute health problem. The solution - orientated communication is a form of communication in which both veterinarian and client address longstanding situations or problems with the objective to improve herd health and subsequently productivity performance. All three forms of communication overlap.
Based on this model, it appears useful for a veterinary practice to offer both a curative and an advisory service, but to keep these two separated when deemed appropriate. In veterinary education, the strategies and techniques necessary for solution orientated communication should be included in the teaching of communication skills.
Research has shown that cultural competence training improves the attitudes, knowledge, and skills of clinicians related to caring for diverse populations. Social Justice in medicine is the idea that healthcare workers promote fair treatment in healthcare so that disparities are eliminated. Providing students with the opportunity to explore social issues in health is the first step toward decreasing discrimination. This concept is required for institutional accreditation and widely publicized as improving health care delivery in our society.
A literature review was performed searching for social justice training in medical curricula in North America.
Twenty-six articles were discovered addressing the topic or related to the concept of social justice or cultural humility. The concepts are in accordance with objectives supported by the Future of Medical Education in Canada Report (2010), the Carnegie Foundation Report (2010), and the LCME guidelines.
The authors have introduced into the elective curriculum of the John A. Burns School of Medicine a series of activities within a time span of four years to encourage medical students to further their knowledge and skills in social awareness and cultural competence as it relates to their future practice as physicians. At the completion of this adjunct curriculum, participants will earn the Dean's Certificate of Distinction in Social Justice, a novel program at the medical school. It is the hope of these efforts that medical students go beyond cultural competence and become fluent in the critical consciousness that will enable them to understand different health beliefs and practices, engage in meaningful discourse, perform collaborative problem-solving, conduct continuous self-reflection, and, as a result, deliver socially responsible, compassionate care to all members of society.
An increasing number of emergency medicine (EM) residency training programs have residents interested in participating in clinical rotations in other countries. However, the policies that each individual training program applies to this process are different. To our knowledge, little has been done in the standardization of these experiences to help EM residency programs with the evaluation, administration and implementation of a successful global health clinical elective experience. The objective of this project was to assess the current status of EM global health electives at residency training programs and to establish recommendations from educators in EM on the best methodology to implement successful global health electives.
During the 2011 Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors (CORD) Academic Assembly, participants met to address this issue in a mediated discussion session and working group. Session participants examined data previously obtained via the CORD online listserve, discussed best practices in global health applications, evaluations and partnerships, and explored possible solutions to some of the challenges. In addition a survey was sent to CORD members prior to the 2011 Academic Assembly to evaluate the resources and processes for EM residents’ global experiences.
Recommendations included creating a global health working group within the organization, optimizing a clearinghouse of elective opportunities for residents and standardizing elective application materials, site evaluations and resident assessment/feedback methods. The survey showed that 71.4% of respondents have global health partnerships and electives. However, only 36.7% of programs require pre-departure training, and only 20% have formal competency requirements for these global health electives.
A large number of EM training programs have global health experiences available, but these electives and the trainees may benefit from additional institutional support and formalized structure.
International emergency medicine; Global health; Graduate medical education; Residency training
This multicenter, randomized, controlled clinical study was designed to address the effectiveness of combined traditional-Chinese-medicine- (TCM-) based psychotherapy and Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) in the treatment of menopausal syndrome. Altogether 424 eligible women diagnosed as menopausal syndrome and categorized as Kidney-Yin/Kidney-Yang deficiency pattern in TCM were randomly assigned into 4 groups and accepted TCM-based psychotherapy (PSY), CHM, PSY + CHM, or placebo therapies, respectively, for 12 weeks, and another 12 weeks were taken as the followup. Kupperman Index (KI) and the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life (MENQOL) with its four subscales (vasomotor, physical, psychosocial, and sexual) were employed for efficacy assessment. Results showed that 400 participants completed 12-week treatment, of which 380 finished the record of KI and MENQOF at week 24. The average adjusted number of KI score decreased between baseline and 12 weeks in all groups. Statistically significant differences were detected in the average adjusted change between the PSY + CHM group and placebo at overall time points (P < 0.05). No severe adverse events occurred in each group and no significant differences were indicated between any of the three groups and placebo in adverse event proportion. We concluded that TCM psychotherapy combined with CHM has a favorable outcome in treating menopausal syndrome.
The field of hospital medicine is growing rapidly in academic medical centers. However, few organizations have explicitly considered the opportunities and barriers posed to hospital medicine’s development as an academic field in internal medicine.
To develop consensus around key areas limiting or facilitating hospital medicine’s development as an academic discipline.
Consensus format conference of key stakeholders in academic hospital medicine.
The Consensus Group identified several issues impeding the development of academic hospital medicine as a recognized entity in academic settings, including extraordinarily rapid growth, increasingly preponderate non-teaching roles, and demands to perform non-clinical duties (such as quality improvement) not generally viewed as academic pursuits. The Consensus Group developed recommendations for addressing these concerns, specifically 1) characterizing the ‘optimal’ job description for an academic hospitalist, 2) developing better local and at-a-distance opportunities for training academic hospitalists in key aspects of early career success, 3) advocacy for development of fellows and junior faculty researchers in hospital medicine.
Fostering academic hospital medicine will help address these issues more effectively and will help the field while also attracting the next generation of generalists needed to care for an increasingly complex inpatient population.
internal medicine; Consensus Group; opportunities; academic hospital; hospital medicine; hospitalists
Two consecutive conferences on ‘Sino-Japan Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Development on the Traditional Uighur Medicine’ were held in Xinjiang Medical University on July 3 and Kanazawa Medical University on October 6, 2007. The Vice president Halmurat Upur presided over the meeting and gave congratulatory address on holding of the conference. In order to understand mutually and discuss the possibility of the Uighur Medicine as CAM and the situation of medicine in the global sense, specialist scholars of Traditional Uighur Medicine and postgraduates attended this conference. In the meeting of the CAM, the achievements on the research of Traditional Uighur Medicine were exchanged and warmly discussed. Presentations were made in the consecutive conference.
CAM; silk root; Traditional Medicine; Uighur Medicine; Urmuqi
Medical residency programs are likely to face increasing pressure to address their relations with the pharmaceutical industry. Our internal medicine residency program has developed guidelines that were adopted after extensive debate by residents and faculty members. The guidelines are based on the principles that residents and faculty should set the educational agenda and that the residency program should not allow gifts of any sort from industry to residents. Specific policies include obtaining and screening educational materials from the industry before residents are exposed to them, proscribing "drug lunches" and accepting industry sponsorship only when the residency program maintains complete control of the educational event being sponsored. The industry response to the guidelines was split; about half reacted negatively, and half found the guidelines acceptable. Our experience suggests that productive debate about guidelines for the interaction of residency programs with the pharmaceutical industry is possible and desirable and that explicit policies can clarify areas of ambiguity.
Methods: A cross sectional study of the Emergency Medicine Journal for 2001.
Results: 118 articles were included in the study. The response rate from those with valid email addresses was 73%. There was no statistical difference between the type of email address used and the address being invalid (p=0.392) or between the type of article and the likelihood of a reply (p=0.197). More responses were obtained from work addresses when compared with Hotmail addresses (86% v 57%, p=0.02).
Conclusions: Email is a valid means of contacting authors of previously published articles, particularly within the emergency medicine specialty. A work based email address may be a more valid means of contact than a Hotmail address.
Systematic reviews are considered the most reliable tool to summarize
existing evidence. To determine whether reviews that address the same
questions can produce different answers we examined systematic reviews of
herbal medicine, homeopathy, and acupuncture taken from a previously
established database. Information on literature searching, inclusion criteria,
selection process, quality assessment, data extraction, methods to summarize
primary studies, number of included studies, results and conclusions was
Seventeen topics (eight on acupuncture, six on herbal medicines, three on
homeopathy) had been addressed by 2-5 systematic reviews each. The number of
primary studies in the reviews varied greatly within most topics. The most
obvious reason for discrepancies between the samples was different inclusion
criteria (in thirteen topics). Methods of literature searching may have
contributed with some topics but the equivalence of the searches was difficult
to assess. Differences were frequently observed in other methodological
aspects, in results and in conclusions.
This analysis shows that, at least in the three areas examined, systematic
reviews often differ considerably. Readers should be aware that apparently
minor decisions in the review process can have major impact.
Traditional methods of setting curricular guidelines using experts or consensus panels may miss important areas of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that need to be addressed in the training of medical students and residents.
To seek input from medical students and internal medicine residents (“trainees”) on their perception of their needs for training in Geriatrics.
Two assessment methods were used (1) focus groups with students and residents were conducted by professional facilitators and the transcripts analyzed for areas of agreement and divergence and (2) geriatric medicine experts and ward attendings were surveyed to examine training gaps raised by trainees during Geriatric Guest Attending Rounds.
Trainees perceived training gaps in caring for elderly patients in the areas of (1) recognizing and addressing the complex, multifactorial nature of illness; (2) setting priorities and goals for work-up and intervention; (3) communication with families and with patients with cognitive disorders; (4) assessment of a patient for discharge from the hospital and the services at different sites in which patients may receive care. They recounted feeling overwhelmed by complex patients and social situations while acknowledging the special aspects of connecting with older patients. The gaps identified by trainees differ from and complement the curriculum guidelines set by expert recommendations.
Trainees identified gaps in skills and knowledge leading to trainee frustration and potentially adverse outcomes in caring for elderly patients. Development of curriculum guidelines should include assessment of trainees' perceived learning needs.
education; medical students; residents; curriculum; geriatrics
Unhealthy substance use is the spectrum from use that risks harm, to use associated with problems, to the diagnosable conditions of substance abuse and dependence, often referred to as substance abuse disorders. Despite the prevalence and impact of unhealthy substance use, medical education in this area remains lacking, not providing physicians with the necessary expertise to effectively address one of the most common and costly health conditions. Medical educators have begun to address the need for physician training in unhealthy substance use, and formal curricula have been developed and evaluated, though broad integration into busy residency curricula remains a challenge.
We review the development of unhealthy substance use related competencies, and describe a curriculum in unhealthy substance use that integrates these competencies into internal medicine resident physician training. We outline strategies to facilitate adoption of such curricula by the residency programs. This paper provides an outline for the actual implementation of the curriculum within the structure of a training program, with examples using common teaching venues. We describe and link the content to the core competencies mandated by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the formal accrediting body for residency training programs in the United States. Specific topics are recommended, with suggestions on how to integrate such teaching into existing internal medicine residency training program curricula.
Given the burden of disease and effective interventions available that can be delivered by internal medicine physicians, teaching about unhealthy substance use must be incorporated into internal medicine residency training, and can be done within existing teaching venues.
This study compared the ways in which psychiatrists and nonpsychiatrists interpret the relationship between religion/spirituality and health and address religion/spirituality issues in the clinical encounter.
The authors mailed a survey to a stratified random sample of 2,000 practicing U.S. physicians, with an oversampling of psychiatrists. The authors asked the physicians about their beliefs and observations regarding the relationship between religion/spirituality and patient health and about the ways in which they address religion/spirituality in the clinical setting.
A total of 1,144 physicians completed the survey. Psychiatrists generally endorse positive influences of religion/spirituality on health, but they are more likely than other physicians to note that religion/spirituality sometimes causes negative emotions that lead to increased patient suffering (82% versus 44%). Compared to other physicians, psychiatrists are more likely to encounter religion/spirituality issues in clinical settings (92% versus 74% report their patients sometimes or often mention religion/spirituality issues), and they are more open to addressing religion/spirituality issues with patients (93% versus 53% say that it is usually or always appropriate to inquire about religion/spirituality).
This study suggests that the vast majority of psychiatrists appreciate the importance of religion and/or spirituality at least at a functional level. Compared to other physicians, psychiatrists also appear to be more comfortable, and have more experience, addressing religion/spirituality concerns in the clinical setting.
Neurologic complications associated with regional anesthesia and pain medicine practice are extremely rare. The ASRA Practice Advisory on Neurologic Complications in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine addresses the etiology, differential diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of these complications. This Advisory does not focus on hemorrhagic and infectious complications, because they have been addressed by other recent ASRA Practice Advisories. The current Practice Advisory offers recommendations to aid in the understanding and potential limitation of neurologic complications that may arise during the practice of regional anesthesia and pain medicine.
Complications of anesthesia; Nerve injury; Spinal anesthesia; Epidural anesthesia; Peripheral nerve block; Regional anesthesia; Pain medicine; Transforaminal block
The literature contains a number of controversies regarding key questions: (1) When is a biopsy indicated? (2) How should the biopsy be placed? (3) How should the biopsy be performed and which has the greatest diagnostic accuracy? (4) Who should perform the biopsy? (5) What clinical parameters present the greatest diagnostic difficulty? Using PubMed and Google Scholar we performed English-language literature searches of clinical studies reporting biopsy of soft tissue masses. Thirty-two studies met the inclusion criteria but were only able to address three of the five questions the authors had hoped to evaluate. Available evidence suggests open biopsy has the highest diagnostic accuracy over core needle biopsy, which was higher than fine needle aspiration. There was no evidence to address who is best suited to perform the biopsy (general surgeon, orthopaedic surgeon, radiologist, pathologist) in terms of accuracy of diagnosis. Frozen section at the time of biopsy may improve diagnostic accuracy. Diagnostic difficulty was associated with myxoid and round cell neoplasms, infections, and tumors located in the paraspinal region. The limited number of references addressing these issues demonstrated the need for more Level I research in the area of biopsy of soft tissue masses.
Level of Evidence: Level III, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
The National Institutes of Health–sponsored workshop “Translational Models for Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine” was held to describe the utility of various translational models for engineered tissues and regenerative medicine therapies targeting intervertebral disc, cartilage, meniscus, ligament, tendon, muscle, and bone. Participants included leaders in the various topics, as well as National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration. The Food and Drug Administration representatives provided perspectives and needs for studies supported by animal models. Researchers described animal models for specific tissues and addressed the following questions: (1) What are the unmet musculoskeletal clinical needs that may be addressed by tissue engineering and regenerative medicine? (2) Are there appropriate models available? (3) Are there needs to develop standardized animal models? (4) What are the translational pathways that lead to clinical trials and therapeutic development? The workshop provided an effective and succinct summary of the status of various animal models in musculoskeletal regenerative medicine. Although many models are available and serve well to answer a variety of questions, the general consensus was that there is a substantial need for improved and standardized animal models for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine of the musculoskeletal system, and that animal models, especially large animal models, are critical to the preclinical step of translating research from bench to bedside.
In many countries, including the UK, where relatives' consent is required, clinical autopsy rates (i.e. autopsies other than those required by law) have been declining since the 1950s. In the UK, even in teaching hospitals, the clinical autopsy rate has fallen to only 10% of deaths or less. At this rate of decline, clinical autopsies – and the pathologists who perform them – face extinction. The future practice of medicine will be blind to the many adverse consequences of clinical actions or omissions. The reasons for this decline are manifold and these have to be addressed if autopsy is to stand a chance of survival. The future of autopsy lies in promoting public support for autopsies, in some cases adapting the autopsy to address specific questions, thus making more effective use of information from autopsies. Only by ensuring that the next generation of doctors have experienced the powerful educational benefit of examining the body after death will the importance of autopsy to modern medicine be understood.
The objective of this study is to identify (1) the current role of simulation in medical student emergency medicine (EM) education; (2) the challenges to initiating and sustaining simulation-based programs; and (3) educational advances to meet these challenges.
We solicited members of the Clerkship Directors in Emergency Medicine (CDEM) e-mail list to complete a Web-based survey addressing the use of simulation in both EM clerkships and preclinical EM curricula. Survey elements addressed the nature of the undergraduate EM clerkship and utilization of simulation, types of technology, and barriers to increased use in each setting.
CDEM members representing 60 EM programs on the list (80%) responded. Sixty-seven percent of EM clerkships are in the fourth year of medical school only and 45% are required. Fewer than 25% of clerkship core curriculum hours incorporate simulation. The simulation modalities used most frequently were high-fidelity models (79%), task trainers (55%), and low-fidelity models (30%). Respondents identified limited faculty time (88.7%) and clerkship hours (47.2%) as the main barriers to implementing simulation training in EM clerkships. Financial resources, faculty time, and the volume of students were the main barriers to additional simulation in preclinical years.
A focused, stepwise application of simulation to medical student EM curricula can help optimize the ratio of student benefit to faculty time. Limited time in the curriculum can be addressed by replacing existing material with simulation-based modules for those subjects better suited to simulation. Faculty can use hybrid approaches in the preclinical years to combine simulation with classroom settings for either small or large groups to more actively engage learners while minimizing identified barriers.
Simulation experiences have begun to replace traditional education models of teaching the skill of bad news delivery in medical education. The tiered apprenticeship model of medical education emphasizes experiential learning. Studies have described a lack of support in bad news delivery and inadequacy of training in this important clinical skill as well as poor familial comprehension and dissatisfaction on the part of physicians in training regarding the resident delivery of bad news. Many residency training programs lacked a formalized training curriculum in the delivery of bad news. Simulation teaching experiences may address these noted clinical deficits in the delivery of bad news to patients and their families. Unique experiences can be role-played with this educational technique to simulate perceived learner deficits. A variety of scenarios can be constructed within the framework of the simulation training method to address specific cultural and religious responses to bad news in the medical setting. Even potentially explosive and violent scenarios can be role-played in order to prepare physicians for these rare and difficult situations. While simulation experiences cannot supplant the model of positive, real-life clinical teaching in the delivery of bad news, simulation of clinical scenarios with scripting, self-reflection, and peer-to-peer feedback can be powerful educational tools. Simulation training can help to develop the skills needed to effectively and empathetically deliver bad news to patients and families in medical practice.
Bad news delivery; end-of-life care; medical education; palliative care; simulation
For the first time in history, four generations are working together – Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials. Members of each generation carry with them a unique perspective of the world and interact differently with those around them. Through a review of the literature and consensus by modified Delphi methodology of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) Aging and Generational Issues Task Force, the authors have developed this two-part series to address generational issues present in academic emergency medicine (EM). Understanding generational characteristics and mitigating strategies can help address some common issues encountered in academic EM. Through recognition of the unique characteristics of each of the generations with respect to teaching and learning, mentoring, and technology, academicians have the opportunity to strategically optimize interactions with one another.
Improvements in clinical pain care have not matched advances in scientific knowledge, and innovations in medical education are needed. Several streams of evidence indicate that pain education needs to address both the affective and cognitive dimensions of pain. Our aim was to design and deliver a new course in pain establishing foundation-level knowledge while comprehensively addressing the emotional development needs in this area.
118 first year medical students at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Performance was measured by multiple choice tests of pain knowledge, attendance, reflective pain portfolios and satisfaction measures.
Domains of competence in pain knowledge included central and peripheral pain signaling, pharmacological management of pain with standard analgesic medications, neuromodulating agents and opioids; cancer pain, musculoskeletal pain, nociceptive, inflammatory, neuropathic, geriatric, and pediatric pain. Socio-emotional development (portfolio) work focused on increasing awareness of pain affect in self and others and enhancing the commitment to excellence in pain care. Reflections included observations on a brief pain experience (cold pressor test), the multi-dimensionality of pain, the role of empathy and compassion in medical care, the positive characteristics of pain-care role models, the complex feelings engendered by pain and addiction including frustration and disappointment, and aspirations and commitments in clinical medicine. The students completing feedback expressed high levels of interest in pain medicine as a result of the course.
We conclude that a four-day pain course incorporating sessions with pain- specialists, pain medicine knowledge, and design-built elements to strengthen emotional skills is an effective educational approach.