Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP Meeting in Ottawa, ON

Poster Presentation:

Interprofessional Encounters on the Pediatric Clerkship

Patricia G. McBurney,,Charleston,SC,Michele K. Friesinger,,Charleston,SC,Sherron M. Jackson,,Charleston,SC

Backgroud: The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (Standard 7.9) calls for interprofessional education (IPE), but there is limited information about how it is achieved on clinical rotations.1 Although one-third of clerkship directors report IPE at their institutions, it might not even be a required activity.2 

Objective: To explore the behavior of medical students when required to encounter and obtain written feedback from non-physician health care providers (HCPs).


Methods: At Medical University of South Carolina during 2012-13 on the pediatric clerkship (6 weeks), we required third-year medical students to interact with and have evaluations completed by 2 different non-physician HCPs. Students were given 2 cards to be completed by hand or electronically. These comment-only cards assessed student’s professional behavior and were incorporated into global professionalism assessments for each student.3

A dataset recorded time of year, setting (wards, nursery, emergency department, clinic/offices), evaluator’s profession and status (trainee or staff/faculty), and student’s career interests.

Descriptive statistics were generated for this cross-sectional study.


Results: 167 students rotated on the clerkship. 304 evaluations and 1.8 evaluations/student(range 1-2) were submitted. 209(70%) were completed by hand. 202(66%) were completed on wards, 29(10%) ED, 23(8%) clinics/offices, 11(4%) nursery. Nearly half the evaluations (140, 46%) were completed by pharmacists. Only 17(6%) were done by non-trainee pharmacists. 123(74%) of students had a pharmacist complete at least 1 evaluation. Nurses completed the next highest number of evaluations (87, 29%), then patient assistants/patient-care technicians (25, 8%). Despite instructions, 14 students had physicians or peers complete evaluations. Others evaluators included respiratory therapists, child-life specialists, dentists, and physical therapists. Time of year and career interests did not influence whether or not a pharmacist was asked to complete the evaluation.


Conclusions: Most students asked student/resident pharmacists on wards for evaluations. Students spend half the clerkship on the wards, and pharmacy trainees are established on the teams. We were disappointed that  students did not choose a wider variety of non-physician HCPs to complete this assignment. It appears that students will not be assessed by other HCPs outside of those immediately available, using this card method. If the desired experiences are out of the norm, educators should consider structuring them. 


1Functions and Structure of a Medical School

(LCME Standards), April 2015 (Accessed October 21, 2015).


2Barone MA, Bannister SL, Dudas RA. Interprofessional education in pediatric clerkships: results from the COMSEP survey of North America. Platform Presentation. COMSEP Annual Meeting, 2014, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Accessed October 21, 2015)



3Global Assessment of Professionalism as described by the American Board of Pediatrics