Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP 2005 North Carolina Meeting

Poster Presentation:

Teaching with Parents in Medical School Curricula


 Janice Hanson and Virginia Randall. Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD

 Objectives: 1. To elicit descriptions of competencies that parents find helpful in physicians. 2. To work with parents and faculty to develop activities for medical education to teach parent-generated competencies. 3. To implement these activities. Methods: Focus groups, interviews and collaborative working groups with parents and medical school faculty were utilized. Results: Qualitative analysis identified attitudes parents consider important and competencies regarding communication, shared medical decision-making and advocacy. Collaborative working groups developed and implemented these six activities: Teaching Advocacy with Patients and Families: Parent-and patient-advisors work intensively with small groups of students regarding advocating for patients and families. Home Visits: Medical students visit children and families at home to discuss parents' views about healthcare, observe the resilience of people who face health challenges, and enhance understanding of resources and interventions that help people live with disabilities in home and community environments. Medical Ethics with Parent Collaborators: In a bioethics course, discussions with parents put a human face on ethical decision-making in healthcare. Parent Presentations about Developmental Disabilities: Pictures, stories and a question/answer session translate diagnostic criteria into experiences from the lives of children and families. Case-based Learning with Parent Co-Teachers: One-hour sessions engage medical students with parents to address pediatric development and the approach to a pediatric interview.

Research with Patients and Families: During a month-long elective, students construct a research project with a patient- and family-advisory group as the major resource. Conclusions: Parents delineate competencies that parent- and faculty-collaborators can translate into curricular activities in which students develop medically relevant understanding of the context of children's lives.