Irene Hong-McAtee, MD, MCR, Chris Nelson, MD, Hubie Ballard, MD, Don Hayes, MD, Rebecca Dutch, PhD, Luke Bradley, PhD, Lu-Yuan Lee, PhD, Sam Turco, PhD, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Background: Spencer et al found <20% of medical schools offered courses to senior medical students to integrate basic science and clinical medicine (Acad Med 2008). Our project is one of the first to prospectively evaluate knowledge gained in such a curriculum in pediatrics. Objectives: 1) Re-acquaint 4th-years to basic science concepts underlying clinical pediatric cases, and 2) Increase knowledge and teaching skills through preparation of weekly presentations. Structure: One case was presented per week of a 4-week, 4th-year pediatric clerkship. Each weekly topic included Monday and Friday sessions, taught by a pair of professors matched by interest. On Mondays, the Clinical Pediatrician presented a vignette; then the Basic Science Faculty presented pathophysiology of the case. Students and faculty brainstormed further questions raised by these presentations, leading to topics that students researched for the remainder of the week. On Fridays, the faculty and students reconvened to listen to the concise, evidence-based, student-led Powerpoint presentations. Evaulation: Effectiveness of the curriculum was measured by A) student evaluations of the curriculum and teachers, using Likert scales, and B) increase in individual student knowledge from pre- to post-test. Hypothesis: Due to active learning, student knowledge of the 4 pediatric topics will increase (ie, post-test score minus pre-test score will be positive).Results: In 2008 and 2010, a total of 22 students answered 10% and 12% more items correctly on the post-test, respectively (both p < 0.001, t-test). Among the 15 students in 2009, test scores increased only 4%; notably, 2009 pre-test scores were significantly higher than in other years (p<0.03). The students scored the curriculum on average 4.0 (5=excellent). There was no statistical difference in students' perception of change in “basic science knowledge in pediatrics” v. “clinical knowledge in pediatrics.” Discussion: This project demonstrates that measurement of outcomes in a basic science pediatrics course is feasible. In 2010, teachers evaluated students’ Powerpoints on a Likert scale. Future iterations could identify whether students’ perceptions of teaching efficacy, as well as teachers’ scores of the students’ Powerpoints, correlate to increase in knowledge in specific topics.