COMSEP 2010 Albuquerque Meeting
INDIVIDUALIZED LEARNING PLANS IN THE PEDIATRIC CLERKSHIP
Meredith A. Lease, MD, Children's Hospital at Dartmouth, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, NH; Todd M. Poret, MD; Alison D. Ricker, BS, Children's Hospital at Dartmouth, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, NH
Background: Competency-based education has shifted the focus of medical education to observable outcomes, viewed as the application of knowledge, in a learner-centered process, with input from a mentor. This includes self-assessment and individualized learning plans (ILPs). ILPs have become standard in residency education to assist mentors in guiding learners to seek personal improvement, prioritize learning needs, and develop strategies for achieving goals. It is important to consider how clerkships can encourage this process of learning before residency begins. Objectives: To implement a clerkship ILP, to qualitatively assess students’ perception of its value as an educational tool, and to quantitatively describe self-reported rates of success in achieving goals. Methods: We developed a clerkship specific ILP form with a workshop on performing a self assessment and creating an ILP during orientation. ILPs were electronically shared with preceptors. Students were sent reminders half way through the clerkship to reassess their ILP. At the end of the clerkship, students participated in a facilitated discussion of their progress and identifed goals which could be rewritten for other clerkships. All students completed evaluations on both sessions and the clerkship. Results: We will show representative sample student ILPs. We will display representative qualitative comments from learners on the educational value clerkship ILP. We will summarize comments to demonstrate elements that facilitated or impaired the process. We will report the percentage of learners who attempted or achieved their goal. Discussion: For students, ILPs target learning efforts, improve performance on tasks, structure experiences, and facilitate mentored learning by sharing goals. Regardless of career plans, the principles taught in this process are central to life-long learning and personal improvement. Our experiences suggest this process has improved the quality of our clerkship. Future collaboration with other clerkships could allow for an ILP across the clinical years as many goals are long term with ongoing reassessment and continuous feedback in addition to the use of clerkship specific ILPs for achievement of more focused physical and cognitive tasks. Future efforts could also include pre/post-innovation statistical analysis of select outcomes.