Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics

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COMSEP 2009 Baltimore Meeting with APPD

Poster Presentation:


USING DISTANCE LEARNING TO TEACH AND ASSESS THIRD-YEAR MEDICAL STUDENT PERFORMANCE OF ADOLESCENT PSYCHOSOCIAL INTERVIEWING

Authors:
Michael A. Pelzner, MD, Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, MD

BACKGROUND: Ensuring comparable clinical experiences, instruction and assessment methods for learners who are spread across remote training sites presents a continuing challenge for medical schools. (Functions and Structure of a Medical School, Liaison Committee on Medical Education, 2008.) DESCRIPTION: We demonstrate how distance-learning technology can help teach and assess an adolescent medicine curriculum to remote third-year medical students. We use videoconferencing technology to administer two standardized patient encounters (SPE) to students at six training sites, up to 4835 miles a part (Honolulu, HI to Washington, DC). Performance is measured with post-encounter forms, and students receive formative feedback from a faculty observer. After the second SPE, students and standardized patients complete a satisfaction survey. EVALUATION: Students and standardized patients were satisfied with the realism of the encounter (65% and 95% respectively). Students were satisfied with the learning experience (17/28, 65%), and recommended continuing to use it as teaching tool. 96% of students felt that they received detailed and quality feedback over the VTC system. Standardized patients were satisfied that the VTC-based SPE was an effective way to assess interviewing skills (26/28, 93%). Analysis of the student performance data is in progress. CONCLUSIONS: Modern videoconferencing technology and standardized patient encounters provide one option to ensure comparable experiences for learners at distant sites.