Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP 2004 Florida Meeting

Oral Presentation:

A clinical skills day for the pediatric clerkship: Starting students off on the right foot?


 J. Lindsey Lane. Jefferson Medical College

 Objectives: To qualitatively evaluate a one day program to prepare 3rd year students to approach and assess infants and children. 

Methods: The program, given on the first day of the clerkship, has 4 components. Learning: 1. Approach by watching and discussing the COMSEP video, 2. Physical examination using animated video, mannequins and real infants and children, 3. Developmental assessment using video and real infants and children, and anticipatory guidance using role-play. 4. Technical skills using mannequins and each other. Students evaluated the program using a 5 point likert scale (4 or 5 = high, 3 = average, 1 or 2 = low) and wrote comments about each component. They indicated whether they used the skills during the clerkship. We piloted the program over 6 blocks in the 2002-3 academic year
Results: 153 students participated. 67% rated the program high, 26% average and 7% low. Skills learned from the COMSEP video were used by 79%, physical examination 90%, developmental assessment/anticipatory guidance 78% and technical 56%. Negative comments centered on the length of the day, incursion on travel time to distant affiliates, taking time away from the clinical experience and dislike of role-playing. Many students commented that they had minimal preparation for pediatrics during the first two years of medical school.
Conclusion: The clinical skills day is effective. Future research should focus on evaluating the quantitative impact of the program on student performance and where in the overall medical school curriculum the program should be taught in order to maximize students' mastery of pediatric skills.