Links between the demanding nature of studies in the health sciences, students’ personality traits and psychological distress have been well-established. While considerable amount of work has been done in medicine, evidence from the dental education arena is sparse and data from Latin America are lacking. The authors conducted a large-scale investigation of psychological distress among dental students in Colombia and sought to determine its curriculum and student-level correlates.
The Spanish version of the Derogatis’ Symptoms Checklist Revised (SCL-90-R) was administered to all students officially registered and attending classes or clinics in 17 dental schools in 4 geographic districts of Colombia between January and April 2012. Additional information was collected on participants’ socio-demographic information and first career choice, as well as school’s characteristics such as class size. The Global Severity Index (GSI) score, a measure of overall psychological distress, served as the primary analytical endpoint. Analyses relied on multilevel mixed-effects linear and log-binomial regression, accounting for study design and sample characteristics.
A total of 5700 dental students completed the survey, a response rate of 67%. Pronounced gradients were noted in the association between socio-economic status and psychological distress, with students in higher strata reporting fewer problems. After adjustment for all important covariates, there was an evident pattern of increasing psychological distress corresponding to the transition from the didactic, to the preclinical and clinical phases of training, with few differences between male and female students. Independent of other factors, reliance on own funds for education and having dentistry as the first career choice were associated with lower psychological distress.
Levels of psychological distress correlated with students’ socio-economic and study-level characteristics. Above and beyond the influence of person-level factors, variations in levels of distress paralleled specific transitional stages of the 5-year dental curriculum, providing opportunities for targeted interventions.
Dental students; Psychological distress; Mental health; Psychopathology; Curriculum; Socioeconomic differences
Medical schools are currently charged with a lack of education as far as empathic/relational skills and the meaning of being a health-care provider are concerned, thus leading to increased interest in medical humanities.
Medical humanities can offer an insight into human illness and in a broader outlook into human condition, understanding of one self, responsibility. An empathic relation to patients might be fostered by a matching approach to humanities and sciences, which should be considered as subjects of equal relevance, complementary to one another. Recently, movies have been used in medical – especially psychiatric - trainees education, but mainly within the limits of teaching a variety of disorders. A different approach dealing with the use of cinema in the training of psychiatry residents is proposed, based on Jung and Hillman’s considerations about the relation between images and archetypes, archetypal experience and learning.
Selected full-length movies or clips can offer a priceless opportunity to face with the meaning of being involved in a care-providing, helping profession.
Education; Empathy; Emotion; Psychiatry trainees; Students; Cinema; Movies; Films
Writing exam questions can be a valuable learning tool. We asked students to construct multiple choice questions for curricular exams in Internal Medicine. The questions for the particular exams were chosen from a pool of at least 300 student-written questions. The uncorrected pool was accessible to all students. We studied the influence of this approach on the students’ learning habits and their test results. We hypothesized that creating a pool of their own questions for the exams could encourage students to discuss the learning material.
All students had to pass 4 exams in 7 fields of Internal Medicine. Three exams were comprised of 20 questions, and we applied the new method in one of these exams. The fourth exam was comprised of 30 questions, 15 of which were chosen from a students’ pool. After all exams had been completed we asked the students to fill in a web-based questionnaire on their learning habits and their views on the new approach. The test-results were compared to the results of the lecturers’ questions that defined high and low performing students.
A total of 102 students completed all four exams in a row, 68 of whom filled in the questionnaire. Low performing students achieved significantly better results in the students’ questions. There was no difference in the number of constructed questions between both groups of students. The new method did not promote group work significantly. However, high performing students stated a stronger wish to be rewarded by good performance.
Creating a curricular exam by choosing questions from a pool constructed by students did not influence the learning habits significantly and favored low performing students. Since the high performing students sought to be rewarded for their efforts, we do not consider the approach applied in our study to be appropriate.
Question-writing; Multiple choice questions; Curricular exams; Learning behavior; Internal medicine
There is growing interest in global health among medical trainees. Medical schools and residencies are responding to this trend by offering global health opportunities within their programs. Among United States (US) graduating pediatric residents, 40% choose to subspecialize after residency training. There is limited data, however, regarding global health opportunities within traditional post-residency, subspecialty fellowship training programs. The objectives of this study were to explore the availability and type of global health opportunities within Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited pediatric subspecialty fellowship training programs, as noted by their online report, and to document change in these opportunities over time.
The authors performed a systematic online review of ACGME-accredited fellowship training programs within a convenience sample of six US pediatric subspecialties. Utilizing two data sources, the American Medical Association-Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database Access (AMA-FREIDA) and individual program websites, all programs were coded for global health opportunities and opportunity types were stratified into predefined categories. Comparisons were made between 2008 and 2011 using Fisher exact test. All analyses were conducted using SAS Software v. 9.3 (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC).
Of the 355 and 360 programs reviewed in 2008 and 2011 respectively, there was an increase in total number of programs listing global health opportunities on AMA-FREIDA (16% to 23%, p=0.02) and on individual program websites (8% to 16%, p=0.004). Nearly all subspecialties had an increased percentage of programs offering global health opportunities on both data sources; although only critical care experienced a significant increase (p=0.04, AMA-FREIDA). The types of opportunities differed across all subspecialties.
Global health opportunities among ACGME-accredited pediatric subspecialty fellowship programs are limited, but increasing as noted by their online report. The availability and types of these opportunities differ by pediatric subspecialty.
Global health; Pediatrics; Graduate medical education; Subspecialty; Fellowship training
Students enter the medical study with internally generated motives like genuine interest (intrinsic motivation) and/or externally generated motives like parental pressure or desire for status or prestige (controlled motivation). According to Self-determination theory (SDT), students could differ in their study effort, academic performance and adjustment to the study depending on the endorsement of intrinsic motivation versus controlled motivation. The objectives of this study were to generate motivational profiles of medical students using combinations of high or low intrinsic and controlled motivation and test whether different motivational profiles are associated with different study outcomes.
Participating students (N = 844) from University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands, were classified to different subgroups through K-means cluster analysis using intrinsic and controlled motivation scores. Cluster membership was used as an independent variable to assess differences in study strategies, self-study hours, academic performance and exhaustion from study.
Four clusters were obtained: High Intrinsic High Controlled (HIHC), Low Intrinsic High Controlled (LIHC), High Intrinsic Low Controlled (HILC), and Low Intrinsic Low Controlled (LILC). HIHC profile, including the students who are interest + status motivated, constituted 25.2% of the population (N = 213). HILC profile, including interest-motivated students, constituted 26.1% of the population (N = 220). LIHC profile, including status-motivated students, constituted 31.8% of the population (N = 268). LILC profile, including students who have a low-motivation and are neither interest nor status motivated, constituted 16.9% of the population (N = 143). Interest-motivated students (HILC) had significantly more deep study strategy (p < 0.001) and self-study hours (p < 0.05), higher GPAs (p < 0.001) and lower exhaustion (p < 0.001) than status-motivated (LIHC) and low-motivation (LILC) students.
The interest-motivated profile of medical students (HILC) is associated with good study hours, deep study strategy, good academic performance and low exhaustion from study. The interest + status motivated profile (HIHC) was also found to be associated with a good learning profile, except that students with this profile showed higher surface strategy. Low-motivation (LILC) and status-motivated profiles (LIHC) were associated with the least desirable learning behaviours.
Motivation; SDT; Learning outcomes; Academic performance; Intrinsic motivation; Controlled motivation; Motivational profiles
Building on a series of higher educational arts/medicine initiatives, an interdisciplinary drawing module themed on the human body was developed for both year 3 Craft students and year 3 Medicine degree students. This became the subject of a research project exploring how the collaborative approach to drawing adopted on this module impacted on the students’ learning. In this article, emphasis is given to issues thought to have most potential relevance to medical education.
Using an ethnographic research design, the methods adopted were: direct observation of all aspects of the module sessions, audio and video recordings and photographs of the sessions, the incorporation of a semi-structured discussion at the end of each session, and anonymous student questionnaires.
A number of key themes emerged. The complex, phased and multi-sensory nature of the ‘critical looking’ skills developed through the drawing exercises was seen as of potential value in medical education, being proposed as analogous to processes involved in clinical examination and diagnosis. The experience of interdisciplinary collaborative drawing was significant to the students as a creative, participatory and responsive form of learning. The emphasis on the physical experience of drawing and the thematic use of the human body as drawing subject led to reflective discussions about bodily knowledge and understanding. There were indications that students had a meta-cognitive awareness of the learning shifts that had occurred and the sessions provoked constructive self-reflective explorations of pre-professional identity.
This preliminary study suggests, through the themes identified, that there may be potential learning outcomes for medical students in this model of interdisciplinary collaborative drawing of the human body. Further research is needed to explore their applicability and value to medical education. There is a need to explore in more depth the beliefs, motivations and learning styles of medical students opting for the module, the significance and weighting of different learning and teaching elements in the module and the impact of the learning on medical students in the immediate post-module phase.
Creativity; Drawing; Self-reflection; Interdisciplinarity; Collaboration
Most assessments of the quality of postgraduate training are based on anonymised questionnaires of trainees. We report a comprehensive assessment of the quality of training at a large postgraduate psychiatry training institute using non-anonymised face-to-face interviews with trainees and their trainers.
Two consultant psychiatrists interviewed 99 trainees and 109 trainers. Scoring of interview responses was determined by using a pre-defined criteria. Additional comments were recorded as free text. Interviews covered 13 domains, including: Clinical, teaching, research and management opportunities, clinical environment, clinical supervision, adequacy of job description, absence of bullying and job satisfaction. Multiple interview domain scores were combined, generating a ‘Combined’ score for each post.
The interview response rate was 97% for trainers 88% for trainees. There was a significant correlation between trainee and trainer scores for the same interview domains (Pearson’s r = 0.968, p< 0.001). Overall scores were significantly higher for specialist psychiatry posts as compared to general adult psychiatry posts (Two tailed t-test, p < 0.001, 95% CI: -0.398 to −0.132), and significantly higher for liaison psychiatry as compared to other specialist psychiatry posts (t-test: p = 0.038, 95% CI: -0.3901, -0.0118). Job satisfaction scores of year 1 to year 3 core trainees showed a significant increase with increasing seniority (Linear regression coefficient = 0.273, 95% CI: 0.033 to 0.513, ANOVA p= 0.026).
This in-depth examination of the quality of training on a large psychiatry training programme successfully elicited strengths and weakness of our programme. Such an interview scheme could be easily implemented in smaller schemes and may well provide important information to allow for targeted improvement of training. Additionally, trends in quality of training and job satisfaction amongst various psychiatric specialities were identified; specifically speciality posts and liaison posts in psychiatry were revealed to be the most popular with trainees.
Postgraduate Training; Postgraduate Medical Education; Psychiatry Training; Non-anonymised interviews; Non-anonymised feedback; Training quality; Trainees Feedback; Trainer Feedback
As a non-invasive and readily available diagnostic tool, ultrasound is one of the most important imaging techniques in medicine. Ultrasound is usually trained during residency preferable according to German Society of Ultrasound in Medicine (DEGUM) standards. Our curriculum calls for undergraduate training in ultrasound of medical students in their 4th year of undergraduate education. An explorative pilot study evaluated the acceptance of this teaching method, and compared it to other practical activities in medical education at Muenster University.
240 medical students in their 4th year of undergraduate medical education participated in the training and completed a pre- and post-questionnaire for self-assessment of technical knowledge, self-assurance of the procedure, and motivation in performing ultrasound using a Likert scale. Moreover, students were asked about their interest in pursuing a career in internal medicine. To compare this training to other educational activities a standardized online evaluation tool was used. A direct observation of procedural skills assessment (DOPS) for the first time applied on ultrasound aimed to independently assess the success of our teaching method.
There was a significant increase in technical knowledge and self-assurance (p < 0.001) of the students’ self-assessments. The clinical relevance and self-motivation of the teaching were evaluated positively. The students’ DOPS results demonstrated proficiency in the understanding of anatomic structures shown in ultrasonographic images, including terminology, machine settings, and transducer frequencies.
Training ultrasound according to certified DEGUM standards was successful and should be offered in undergraduate medical education. The evaluation of the course affirmed the necessity, quality and clinical relevance of the course with a top ranking score of hands-on training courses within the educational activities of the Medical Faculty of Muenster.
Undergraduate medical education; Ultrasound; Ultrasonography; Clinical competence
Curricula in most western medical universities include teaching in the primary care setting as core elements. This affects GP-teachers, their patients and their interaction. Therefore, it was the aim of this study to assess the influence of the presence of medical students in the teaching practice on the attitudes of both GPs and patients.
Seventy-four GP-preceptors were invited to answer an online survey. Patients attending consultations with a medical student present completed questionnaires either before the consultation (WR group) or immediately after consultation (AC group).
Fifty- nine preceptors completed the online survey. Physicians showed positive attitudes towards their activities as preceptors: 95% expressed a positive attitude predominantly towards being a role model and to represent the discipline and for 64% remuneration was not important. In 28 practices 508 questionnaires were completed by patients in the WR-group and 346 by the AC-group. Only 12% (WR) and 7.2% (AC) of patients expressed a preference for being seen by the doctor alone. While 16% of doctors rated that confidentiality of the doctor-patient relationship is compromised, only 4.1% (WR) and 1.7% (AC) of patients felt so.
The motivation to be a preceptor is primarily driven by personal and professional values and not by economic incentives. Further, patients have even more positive attitudes than the preceptors towards the presence of students during their consultation. Reservations to teaching students in GP-practices are, therefore, unwarranted.
Preceptorship; Teaching; Professional ethics; Physician patient relationship; ‘Doctor-patient relationship’; Medical student
There has been considerable interest in Emotional Intelligence (EI) in undergraduate medical education, with respect to student selection and admissions, health and well-being and academic performance. EI is a significant component of the physician-patient relationship. The emotional well-being of the physician is, therefore, a significant component in patient care. The aim is to examine the measurement of TEIQue-SF in Asian medical students and to explore how the practice of listening to the feelings of others and expressing one’s own feelings influences an individual’s EI, set in the context of the emotional well-being of a medical practitioner.
A group of 183 international undergraduate medical students attended a half-day workshop (WS) about mental-health and well-being. They completed a self-reported measure of EI on three occasions, pre- and post-workshop, and a 1-year follow-up.
The reliability of TEIQue-SF was high and the reliabilities of its four factors were acceptable. There were strong correlations between the TEIQue-SF and personality traits. A paired t-test indicated significant positive changes after the WS for all students (n=181, p= .014), male students (n=78, p= .015) and non-Japanese students (n=112, p= .007), but a repeated measures analysis showed that one year post-workshop there were significant positive changes for all students (n=55, p= .034), female students (n=31, p= .007), especially Japanese female students (n=13, p= .023). Moreover, 80% of the students reported that they were more attentive listeners, and 60% agreed that they were more confident in dealing with emotional issues, both within themselves and in others, as a result of the workshop.
This study found the measurement of TEIQue-SF is appropriate and reliable to use for Asian medical students. The mental health workshop was helpful to develop medical students’ EI but showed different results for gender and nationality. The immediate impact on the emotional awareness of individuals was particularly significant for male students and the non-Japanese group. The impact over the long term was notable for the significant increase in EI for females and Japanese. Japanese female students were more conscious about emotionality. Emotion-driven communication exercises might strongly influence the development of students’ EI over a year.
Emotional Intelligence (EI); Personality trait; Asian medical students; Nationality; Gender
The proportion of medical school graduates who pursue careers other than full-time clinical practice has increased in some countries as the physician’s role has evolved and diversified with the changing landscape of clinical practice and the advancement of biomedicine. Still, past studies of medical students’ career choices have focused on clinical specialties and little is known about their choice of non-clinical careers. The present study examined backgrounds, motivation and perceptions of medical students who intended non-clinical careers.
A questionnaire was administered to students at six Korean medical schools distributed across all provinces in the nation. The questionnaire comprised 40 items on respondents’ backgrounds, their motivation for and interest in the study of medicine, their perceptions of medical professions, and their career intentions. Data was analyzed using various descriptive and inferential statistics.
In total, 1,388 students returned the questionnaire (60% response rate), 12.3% of whom intended non-clinical careers (i.e., basic sciences, non-clinical medical fields, and non-medical fields). Those who planned non-clinical careers were comparable with their peers in their motivation for studying medicine and in their views of medical professions, but they were less interested in the study of medicine (P < 0.01). The two groups also differed significantly on their perceptions of what was uninteresting about the study of medicine (P < 0.01). The two groups were comparable in gender and entry-level ratios but their distributions across ages and years of study differed significantly (P < 0.01). A majority of respondents agreed with the statements that “it is necessary for medical school graduates to pursue non-clinical careers” and that “medical schools need to offer programs that provide information on such careers.” Still, our finding indicates that medical school curricula do not address such needs sufficiently.
Our study found some differences in backgrounds and perceptions of the study of medicine in medical students interested in non-clinical careers from their peers. Future studies are suggested to enhance our understanding of medical students” choice of non-clinical careers.
Despite increasing attention to providing preclinical medical students with early patient experiences, little is known about associated outcomes for students. The authors compared three early patient experiences at a large American medical school where all preclinical students complete preceptorships and weekly bedside clinical-skills training and about half complete clinical, community-based summer immersion experiences. The authors asked, what are the relative outcomes and important educational components for students?
Medical students completed surveys at end of second year 2009–2011. In 2009, students compared/contrasted two of three approaches; responses framed later survey questions. In 2010 and 2011, students rated all three experiences in relevant areas (e.g., developing comfort in clinical setting). Investigators performed qualitative and quantitative analyses.
Students rated bedside training more highly for developing comfort with clinical settings, one-on-one clinical-skills training, feedback, active clinical experience, quality of clinical training, and learning to be part of a team. They rated community clinical immersion and preceptorships more highly for understanding the life/practice of a physician and career/specialty decisions.
Preclinical students received different benefits from the different experiences. Medical schools should define objectives of early clinical experiences and offer options accordingly. A combination of experiences may help students achieve clinical and team comfort, clinical skills, an understanding of physicians’ lives/practices, and broad exposure for career decisions.
Learning to provide feedback on a peer’s performance in formative clinical assessments can be a valuable way of enriching the students’ own learning experience. Students are often reluctant to provide honest, critical feedback to their peers. Nevertheless, it is an area of practice that is important to develop as students report feeling ill prepared in feedback techniques when entering the medical workforce. We sought to investigate students’ perceptions of their ability to provide feedback to their peers using the positive critique method, and their perceived benefits and challenges during the experience.
Over a two year period (2011 to 2012), senior medical students assessed and gave feedback to their peers alongside academic examiners during formative long case clinical examinations. Rating scales, open ended questions and focus group discussions were used to evaluate student perceptions.
Of the 94 participants, 89/94 (95%) completed the questionnaire, and 39/94 (41%) participated in focus groups. Students found the positive critique method provided a useful framework. Some students raised concerns about the accuracy of their feedback, and felt that further training was required. A substantial number of respondents (42%) did not report feeling confident providing negative feedback to their peers, and qualitative analysis indicated concerns around potential impacts on social relationships. Despite these concerns, the majority (90%) of respondents found the exercise useful, identifying several benefits, including development in the understanding of knowledge content; development of professionalism skills, and increased responsibility.
Students identified several challenging aspects to providing feedback to their peers. While the experience of giving feedback to peers was perceived by students to provide a valuable learning experience, further training in this area may help to improve the learning experience for students and better prepare them for their future careers.
This paper describes an assessment approach of clinical competencies which widens the number of problems and tasks evaluated using videos and images.
Clinical Image and Video Assessment (CIVA) was used to assess clinical reasoning and decision making of final year medical students. Forty to fifty clinical videos and images supported by rich text vignette and reviewed by subject matter experts were selected based on examination blueprints for analysis. CIVA scores were correlated with OSCE, Direct Observation Clinical Encounter Exam (DOCEE) and written exam scores, using the 2-sided Pearson correlation analysis, and their reliability was analyzed using Cronbach’s Alpha Coefficient. Furthermore, students personally evaluated the CIVA using a 5- point Likert scale.
CIVA and OSCE scores showed a high correlation (r = 0.83) in contrast with the correlation scores of the written examination (r = .36) and the DOCEE (r = 0.35). Cronbach’s Alpha for the OSCE and CIVA for the first batch was 0.71 and 0.78. As for the second batch it was 0.91 and 0.91 respectively. Eighty-two percent of students were very satisfied or satisfied with the CIVA process, contents and quality.
A well constructed CIVA type assessment with a rich authentic vignette and good quality videos and images could be used to assess clinical reasoning and decision making of final year medical students. CIVA is an assessment tool which correlates well with OSCE, compliments the written and DOCEE and is easier to conduct at a possibly reduced cost.
Little is known about the gains and losses associated with the implementation of undergraduate competency-based medical education. Therefore, we compared knowledge acquisition, clinical performance and perceived preparedness for practice of students from a competency-based active learning (CBAL) curriculum and a prior active learning (AL) curriculum.
We included two cohorts of both the AL curriculum (n = 453) and the CBAL curriculum (n = 372). Knowledge acquisition was determined by benchmarking each cohort on 24 interuniversity progress tests against parallel cohorts of two other medical schools. Differences in knowledge acquisition were determined comparing the number of times CBAL and AL cohorts scored significantly higher or lower on progress tests. Clinical performance was operationalized as students’ mean clerkship grade. Perceived preparedness for practice was assessed using a survey.
The CBAL cohorts demonstrated relatively lower knowledge acquisition than the AL cohorts during the first study years, but not at the end of their studies. We found no significant differences in clinical performance. Concerning perceived preparedness for practice we found no significant differences except that students from the CBAL curriculum felt better prepared for ‘putting a patient problem in a broad context of political, sociological, cultural and economic factors’ than students from the AL curriculum.
Our data do not support the assumption that competency-based education results in graduates who are better prepared for medical practice. More research is needed before we can draw generalizable conclusions on the potential of undergraduate competency-based medical education.
Medical education; Competency-based education; Undergraduate medical education; Competence; Curriculum development; Curriculum comparison; Active learning; Clinical performance; Self-efficacy; Progress test
Few studies have evaluated satisfaction with medical residency programs from the perspective of residents or recent graduates. Knowledge of current conditions of teaching might help to identify deficiencies and to provide adequate training. So, the aim of this study was to assess the satisfaction with residency training and to identify deficiencies in this training from the perspective of recent graduates in ophthalmology residency.
For this purpose, we developed a questionnaire and gaved it to recent graduates in ophthalmology residency in São Paulo, Brazil, from January to December 2010. The questions contained demographic information (age, sex and time of practice in ophthalmology), a Likert scale to evaluate the level of satisfaction with medical residency concerning clinical knowledge, surgical skills and doctor-patient relationship and questions about deficiency in clinical and surgical areas.
The areas in which recent residency graduates were very or extremely satisfied were: acquisition of clinical knowledge (89.1%), acquisition of surgical skills (93.4%) and the development of doctor-patient relationship (74.9%). Specific areas of clinical knowledge in which they perceived more deficiency were orbit (48.3%) and ophthalmic pathology (47.9%), and in surgical skills were refractive surgery (65.9%) and orbit (59.2%)
The assessment of the satisfaction with residency training in ophthalmology from the perspective of recent graduates showed high level of satisfaction and identified specific deficiencies in ophthalmic pathology, refractive surgery and orbit.
Medical education; Medical residency program; Ophthalmology
Teaching the steps of evidence-based medicine (EBM) to undergraduate as well as postgraduate health care professionals is crucial for implementation of effective, beneficial health care practices and abandonment of ineffective, harmful ones. Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, South Africa, offers a 12-week, completely online module on EBM within the Family Medicine division, to medical specialists in their first year of training. The aim of this study was to formatively evaluate this module; assessing both the mode of delivery; as well as the perceived effectiveness and usefulness thereof.
We used mixed methods to evaluate this module: A document review to assess whether the content of the module reflects important EBM competencies; a survey of the students to determine their experiences of the module; and semi-structured interviews with the tutors to explore their perspectives of the module. Ethics approval was obtained.
The document review indicated that EBM competencies were covered adequately, although critical appraisal only focused on randomised controlled trials and guidelines. Students had a positive attitude towards the module, but felt that they needed more support from the tutors. Tutors felt that students engaged actively in discussions, but experienced difficulties with understanding certain concepts of EBM. Furthermore, they felt that it was challenging explaining these via the online learning platform and saw the need to incorporate more advanced technology to better connect with the students. In their view the key to successful learning of EBM was to keep it relevant and applicable to everyday practice. Tutors also felt that an online module on EBM was advantageous, since doctors from all over the world were able to participate.
Our study has shown that the online module on EBM was effective in increasing EBM knowledge and skills of postgraduate students and was well received by both students and tutors. Students and tutors experienced generic challenges that accompany any educational intervention of EBM (e.g. understanding difficult concepts), but in addition had to deal with challenges unique to the online learning environment. Teachers of EBM should acknowledge these so as to enhance and successfully implement EBM teaching and learning for all students.
Evidence-based medicine; Postgraduate; Online learning; Evaluation
Clinical skills tests have been added to the national medical licensure examinations in Canada, the U.S., Korea and Switzerland. Adding a clinical skills test to the Japanese national medical licensure examination should also be considered under the Medical Practitioners Act. On the other hand, such tests might be costly and represent an economic burden to the nation’s citizens. Thus, it is appropriate to obtain the opinion of the general public for the introduction of such tests. Although a clinical skills test can measure various competencies, it remains uncertain as to what should be measured. In this study, we aimed to ascertain public opinion regarding the clinical skills demanded of novice physicians.
We conducted an internet-based survey of the general public in Japan. We randomly selected 7,213 people aged 20 to 69 years. The main topics surveyed included: whether the Japanese government should add a skills test to the existing national medical licensure examination; what kind of skills should be included in this test; and who should pay for the examination.
Of 3,093 (1,531 men and 1,562 women) people who completed the questionnaire (completion rate 42.9%), 90.5% (n = 2,800) responded that a clinical skills test should be part of the national medical licensure examination. The main skills which respondents thought should be included were “explaining and discussing medical issues in an appropriate manner to patients” (n = 2,176, 70.4%), “accurately diagnosing problems by conducting a physical examination” (n = 1,984, 64.1%), and “carefully interviewing patients to make a diagnosis” (n = 1,663; 53.8%). Three-fifths of the respondents (n = 1,900; 61.4%) responded that more than half of the cost of the examination should be paid by the Japanese government.
The majority of respondents indicated that a clinical skills test should be added to the national medical licensure examination. These respondents who represent the general public were requesting the verification of communication, diagnostic interview and diagnostic physical examination skills. Medical educators should incorporate these public requests, and teach and assess medical students accordingly.
OSCE; Clinical skills test; National medical licensure examination; Internet-based survey; Opinion of the general public
With the introduction of integrated problem-based learning (PBL) program in the medical curriculum, there is a need to create laboratory classes that suit students’ learning needs and the changes introduced to the curriculum. This paper outlines the development and implementation of four integrated laboratory classes (ILCs) at King Saud University College of Medicine. It also examines whether core concepts addressed in these classes were learned and retained and how the students perceived the ILCs.
ILCs are based on enhancing enquiry-based learning, and encouraging students to work on tasks in small groups (apply and integrate knowledge from biochemistry, pathology and microbiology) and conduct a laboratory procedure (practical part). In two of these ILCs, a pretest comprising 15 multiple-choice questions were administrated at the start of the class and an identical posttest was administrated at the end of these classes. Performance of the students in the Objective Structured Practical Examination (OSPE) at the end of the blocks was also evaluated. Students’ perceptions were evaluated using a questionnaire completed at the end of each class.
A total of 247, 252, 238, and 244 students participated in practical classes covering cerebrospinal fluid infection, small intestine, liver function tests and adrenal gland function, respectively. Students got higher scores in posttests compared to pre-test scores in two classes (12.68 ± 2.03 vs 6.58 ± 3.39 and 13.02 ± 2.03 vs 7.43 ± 2.68, respectively). Paired t-test showed that the difference was significant (P < 0.001) in both tests. The mean scores of students in stations dealing with ILCs at the end of the block examinations were not significantly different from the mean scores for other stations not related to ILCs. The questionnaire indicated that most students expressed positive attitude towards working on tasks and applying knowledge learnt. Students also felt that conducting laboratory procedures and interpreting laboratory findings were valuable to their learning.
Given the increase in the posttest scores (short-term retention) and the satisfactory performance of students at the end of block examinations (long-term retention) together with the students’ satisfaction, the study suggests that the core concepts addressed in these classes were learned and retained.
Medical education; Integrated laboratory classes; Students’ learning; Impact on learning; Laboratory procedures
Simulation as a pedagogical approach has been used in health professional education to address the need to safely develop effective clinical skills prior to undertaking clinical practice. However, evidence for the use of simulation in midwifery is largely anecdotal, and research evaluating the effectiveness of different levels of simulation fidelity are lacking.
Woman centred care is a core premise of the midwifery profession and describes the behaviours of an individual midwife who demonstrates safe and effective care of the individual woman. Woman centred care occurs when the midwife modifies the care to ensure the needs of each individual woman are respected and addressed. However, a review of the literature demonstrates an absence of a valid and reliable tool to measure the development of woman centred care behaviours. This study aims to determine which level of fidelity in simulated learning experiences provides the most effective learning outcomes in the development of woman centred clinical assessment behaviors and skills in student midwives.
Three-arm, randomised, intervention trial.
In this research we plan to:
a) trial three levels of simulation fidelity - low, medium and progressive, on student midwives performing the procedure of vaginal examination;
b) measure clinical assessment skills using the Global Rating Scale (GRS) and Integrated Procedural Performance Instrument (IPPI); and
c) pilot the newly developed Woman Centred Care Scale (WCCS) to measure clinical behaviors related to Woman-Centredness.
This project aims to enhance knowledge in relation to the appropriate levels of fidelity in simulation that yield the best educational outcomes for the development of woman centred clinical assessment in student midwives. The outcomes of this project may contribute to improved woman centred clinical assessment for student midwives, and more broadly influence decision making regarding education resource allocation for maternity simulation.
Clinical assessment; Education; Global rating scale; Integrated procedural performance instrument; Midwifery; Simulation; Simulation fidelity; Vaginal examination; Woman centred care
Of more than the 2,323 recognized and operating medical schools in 177 countries (world wide) not all are subjected to external evaluation and accreditation procedures. Quality Assurance in medical education is part of a medical school’s ethical responsibility and social accountability. Pushing this agenda in the midst of resource limitation, numerous competing interests and an already overwhelmed workforce were some of the challenges faced but it is a critical element of our medical profession’s social contract. This analysis paper highlights the process of standard defining for Medical Education in a typically low resourced sub Saharan medial school environment.
The World Federation for Medical Education template was used as an operating point to define standards. A wide range of stakeholders participated and meaningfully contributed in several consensus meetings. Effective participatory techniques were used for the information gathering process and analysis.
Standards with a clear intent to enhance education were set through consensus. A cyclic process of continually measuring, judging and improving all standards was agreed and defined. Examples of the domains tackled are stated.
Our efforts are good for our patients, our communities and for the future of health care in Uganda and the East African region.
Accreditation; Standards; Medical education
We present a software tool called SENB, which allows the geometric and biophysical neuronal properties in a simple computational model of a Hodgkin-Huxley (HH) axon to be changed. The aim of this work is to develop a didactic and easy-to-use computational tool in the NEURON simulation environment, which allows graphical visualization of both the passive and active conduction parameters and the geometric characteristics of a cylindrical axon with HH properties.
The SENB software offers several advantages for teaching and learning electrophysiology. First, SENB offers ease and flexibility in determining the number of stimuli. Second, SENB allows immediate and simultaneous visualization, in the same window and time frame, of the evolution of the electrophysiological variables. Third, SENB calculates parameters such as time and space constants, stimuli frequency, cellular area and volume, sodium and potassium equilibrium potentials, and propagation velocity of the action potentials. Furthermore, it allows the user to see all this information immediately in the main window. Finally, with just one click SENB can save an image of the main window as evidence.
The SENB software is didactic and versatile, and can be used to improve and facilitate the teaching and learning of the underlying mechanisms in the electrical activity of an axon using the biophysical properties of the squid giant axon.
Graduating Internal Medicine residents must possess sufficient skills to perform a variety of medical procedures. Little is known about resident experiences of acquiring procedural skills proficiency, of practicing these techniques, or of being assessed on their proficiency. The purpose of this study was to qualitatively investigate resident 1) experiences of the acquisition of procedural skills and 2) perceptions of procedural skills assessment methods available to them.
Focus groups were conducted in the weeks following an assessment of procedural skills incorporated into an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). Using fundamental qualitative description, emergent themes were identified and analyzed.
Residents perceived procedural skills assessment on the OSCE as a useful formative tool for direct observation and immediate feedback. This positive reaction was regularly expressed in conjunction with a frustration with available assessment systems. Participants reported that proficiency was acquired through resident directed learning with no formal mechanism to ensure acquisition or maintenance of skills.
The acquisition and assessment of procedural skills in Internal Medicine programs should move toward a more structured system of teaching, deliberate practice and objective assessment. We propose that directed, self-guided learning might meet these needs.
Procedural skills; Objective structured clinical examination; Assessment; Deliberate practice; Simulation
Internationally, tests of general mental ability are used in the selection of medical students. Examples include the Medical College Admission Test, Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test and the UK Clinical Aptitude Test. The most widely used measure of their efficacy is predictive validity.
A new tool, the Health Professions Admission Test- Ireland (HPAT-Ireland), was introduced in 2009. Traditionally, selection to Irish undergraduate medical schools relied on academic achievement. Since 2009, Irish and EU applicants are selected on a combination of their secondary school academic record (measured predominately by the Leaving Certificate Examination) and HPAT-Ireland score. This is the first study to report on the predictive validity of the HPAT-Ireland for early undergraduate assessments of communication and clinical skills.
Students enrolled at two Irish medical schools in 2009 were followed up for two years. Data collected were gender, HPAT-Ireland total and subsection scores; Leaving Certificate Examination plus HPAT-Ireland combined score, Year 1 Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) scores (Total score, communication and clinical subtest scores), Year 1 Multiple Choice Questions and Year 2 OSCE and subset scores. We report descriptive statistics, Pearson correlation coefficients and Multiple linear regression models.
Data were available for 312 students. In Year 1 none of the selection criteria were significantly related to student OSCE performance. The Leaving Certificate Examination and Leaving Certificate plus HPAT-Ireland combined scores correlated with MCQ marks.
In Year 2 a series of significant correlations emerged between the HPAT-Ireland and subsections thereof with OSCE Communication Z-scores; OSCE Clinical Z-scores; and Total OSCE Z-scores. However on multiple regression only the relationship between Total OSCE Score and the Total HPAT-Ireland score remained significant; albeit the predictive power was modest.
We found that none of our selection criteria strongly predict clinical and communication skills. The HPAT- Ireland appears to measures ability in domains different to those assessed by the Leaving Certificate Examination. While some significant associations did emerge in Year 2 between HPAT Ireland and total OSCE scores further evaluation is required to establish if this pattern continues during the senior years of the medical course.
Selection; Medical; Student; Validity; Predictive; HPAT-Ireland; Assessment; Cognitive; Ability
History taking and empathetic communication are two important aspects in successful physician-patient interaction. Gathering important information from the patient’s medical history is needed for effective clinical decision making while empathy is relevant for patient satisfaction. We wanted to investigate whether medical students near graduation are able to combine both skills as required in daily medical practice.
Thirty near graduates from Hamburg Medical School participated in an assessment for clinical competences including a consultation hour with five standardized patients. Each patient interview was videotaped and standardized patients rated participants with the CARE questionnaire for consultation and relational empathy. All videotaped interviews were rated with a checklist based on the number of important medical aspects for each case. Data were analysed with the linear mixed model to correct for random effects. Regression analysis was performed to look for correlations between the number of questions asked by a participant and their respective empathy rating.
Of the 123 aspects that could have been gathered in total, students only requested 56.4% (95% CI 53.5-59.3). While no difference between male and female participants was found, a significant difference (p < .001) was observed between the two parts of the checklist with 61.1% (95% CI 57.9-64.3) of aspects asked for in part 1 (patient’s symptoms) versus 52.0 (95 47.4-56.7) in part 2 (further history). All female standardized patients combined rated female participants (mean score 14.2, 95% CI 12.3-16.3) to be significantly (p < .01) more empathetic than male participants (mean score 19.2, 95% CI 16.3-22.6). Regression analysis revealed no correlation between the number of medical aspects gathered by a participant and his or her respective empathy score given by the standardized patient in the CARE questionnaire.
Gathering sufficient medical data from a patient’s history and empathetic communication are two completely separate sides of the coin of history taking. While both skills have to be acquired during medical school training with particular focus on their respective learning objectives, medical students need to be provided with additional learning and feedback opportunities where they can be observed exercising both skills combined as required in physicians’ daily practice.
History taking; Medical history; Communication; Competence; Empathy; Feedback