Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP 2008 Atlanta Meeting

Other Works of Interest:

Utility of a Checklist During the Pediatric Clerkship to Improve Pediatric Skills and Meet LCME Standard ED-2 Experience Requirements

April O. Buchanan and Randal M. Rockney
The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University Rhode Island Hospital / Hasbro Childrens Hospital

OBJECTIVE: By the end of the pediatric clerkship, medical students are expected to have a basic understanding of orders, fluids, weight-based prescriptions, growth charts, etc. In addition, LCME Standard ED-2 states that medical schools “must monitor student experience and modify it as necessary to ensure that the objectives of the clinical education program will be met.” Designing effective and meaningful methods to satisfy this standard have proved challenging. Using student feedback and results from our end of the clerkship OSCE, we sought to design a pocket checklist of student experiences to improve compliance with the requirement and facilitate completion of key concepts.
METHODS: Basic skills and concepts pertinent to the inpatient and outpatient rotations were summarized. A pocketsize card containing a checklist was created with inpatient and outpatient sections, recommended patient encounters including the option to complete CLIPP cases, and suggested readings from the Cincinnati guidelines. The checklists were distributed during clerkship orientation starting in September 2007. Students were encouraged to review the checklist weekly with their supervising residents or attendings to ensure tasks and experiences were being completed. 
RESULTS: Forty-eight students have utilized the checklist to date. Medical students express a higher level of comfort in order writing, prescription preparation, and other tasks as demonstrated by qualitative end of clerkship discussion and OSCE performance; in addition, they find it easier to track their patient encounters and make certain they see a variety of diagnoses.   Feedback from supervising residents and attendings indicates appreciation of a guide to ensure students are being taught basic pediatric skills and track completion of varied experiences.
DISCUSSION: Providing students with a pocket card listing essential skills and encounters allows a quick reference to ensure a diverse and productive rotation. In addition, residents and attendings challenged with various levels of learners have a guide for medical students rotating through the clerkship, allowing focused teaching and monitoring. Continued refinement of the checklist from students and preceptors and discussion with other medical school educators will hopefully result in a clearly defined skill set and encounter log, thus improving the education of students during the pediatric clerkship.