Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP 2011 San Diego Meeting with AMSPDC

Poster Presentation:


Joseph V. Dobson, MD, David M. Mills, MD, Patricia G. McBurney, MD, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC

Background:  Medical Students have limited experience with Unstable Pediatric Patients.  Program Objectives/Goals:  Improve knowledge, procedural skills and comfort with evaluating and treating the unstable pediatric patient. Program Description:  In 2010, the Medical University of South Carolina instituted simulation-based training of all third year medical students (163/year) as part of their pediatric clerkship.  Each student participates in two half-day sessions separated by one week.  During the first session, students learn and practice procedural skills (airway management, vascular access, lumbar puncture).  During the second session, students apply the skills in simulated clinical scenarios (respiratory failure, shock, febrile infant).  Between sessions, students study on-line didactic material which covers the course’s learning objectives.  A multiple-choice 45 question test assesses knowledge before and after the course.  A pre-course survey quantifies comfort levels (7-digit Likert Scale) and experience with each procedure and clinical scenario.  A post-course survey evaluates comfort levels and solicits feedback about the effectiveness of the different teaching methods. Methods:  Paired t-tests were used to assess improvement in knowledge.  Wilcoxon sign rank sum tests were used to assess change in comfort levels and to compare student’s rating of teaching methods. Correlation was assessed between online module completion and knowledge. Results:  There was significant improvement (n=76) in knowledge (pre-test mean 60.8%, SD ± 9.1% vs. post-test mean 84%, SD± 9.1%; p<0.0001) and comfort levels (pre-course mean 3.0, SD±1.0 vs. post-course mean 5.9, SD±0.5; p<0.001)  for all procedural skills and clinical scenarios.  Students rated simulation training as more effective than on-line didactic material (p<0.001). There was no correlation between number of online modules completed and knowledge improvement.  Eighty-eight percent stated that the amount of time allowed to teach the material was “just right” and 100% recommended that the course be taught to all medical students. Discussion:  This unique program design effectively trains large numbers of medical students (20/cycle) in two intense but focused half-day sessions, ensuring that each improves critical procedural skills, knowledge and comfort with unstable pediatric patients. We are presenting our experience and curricula for other medical educators who might wish to institute similar teaching methodologies