Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP 2004 Florida Meeting

Oral Presentation:

Caring for the Underserved: A Web-based Curriculum for the Pediatric Clerkship


 ED Cox; AT Behrmann; RL Koscik; MA Hambrecht; CA Olson;GC McIntosh and PK Kokotailo. University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison, WI

Objective: To describe a novel web-based pediatric clerkship curriculum addressing care for the underserved.
Methods: The curriculum, developed at the University of Wisconsin Medical School, was implemented during the 2003-2004 pediatric clerkship. Learning objectives include 1) defining “underserved”; 2) describing the importance of access to care as a determinant of health; 3) identifying barriers to health for underserved families; 4) describing the role of the physician in linking families with community resources; 5) utilizing the “I CARE” tool to recognize underserved families. The web-based curriculum consists of short readings, video of a clinical case with instructor commentary, and on-line submission of an independent project by each student with faculty feedback. Student projects are evaluated for skill in recognizing underserved needs, accessing relevant health resources and reflections on caring for the underserved.
Results: Evaluation of student projects completed to date (n=53) shows that students have successfully recognized and addressed underserved patient needs in all five I CARE areas. (Table 1) Student reflections on projects demonstrate acceptance of the I CARE tool, satisfaction upon project completion and overcoming self-perceived helplessness in caring for the underserved.
Conclusions: Preliminary results indicate that the underserved curriculum promotes skills and fosters positive attitudes in caring for the underserved.

Table 1: “I CARE tool and project examples

I CARE topic

Underserved Need

Resource Accessed

Injury prevention

No bike helmet

National Safe Kids Campaign


No telephone in home

Lifeline telephone services

Access to health care

No source of dental care

Sliding-fee dental care

Resources (basic needs)

Lack of baby clothing, maternal unemployment

Community clothing share, job center

Emotional well-being

Parental stress

Respite care