Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP 2012 Indianapolis Meeting

Poster Presentation:

Bringing the pre-clinical student to the pediatric bedside: A clinical pediatric elective curriculum for second year medical students

Rachel P Apple, MD Candidate 2012 - Vanderbilt University School of Medicine; Stephanie W Israel, M.D. - Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt; Amy E Fleming, M.D. - Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt

Background:  Pre-clerkship medical students have minimal exposure to pediatric patients and problems.  An elective course in pediatrics taught by the Pediatric Chief Residents is offered to Vanderbilt University School of Medicine second-year medical students to increase interest in and exposure to clinical pediatrics. Thus far, the course has lacked a formalized curriculum and clearly defined educational goals and objectives. This year, in an effort to increase the course’s long-term educational impact as well as to improve the course’s year-to-year sustainability and organization, specific course goals, objectives, and curricula have been developed.

To offer a structured, early pediatric clinical experience to pre-clerkship medical students
To improve student comfort with pediatric patients
To improve student pediatric history and physical exam skills

Description of Innovation: The course consists of eight, 2 hour sessions, each focusing on a different portion of the pediatric history and physical exam. Sessions begin with a brief, interactive period of instruction regarding the pediatric history and physical examination related to a given body system. Students will be guided in proper examination techniques as well as in commonly found signs and symptoms of pediatric pathophysiology. The majority of each session will provide inpatient bedside opportunities to practice history and physical examination techniques with guidance from the Chief Residents.  Each student will complete pre and post-course surveys as well as pre and post-course observed patient encounters.

Work to Date: Goals, objectives, and curricula for each session have been developed.  Surveys were created to capture students’ self-assessed comfort with the pediatric history and physical and past exposure to children. Each student will be observed performing two focused histories and physicals. The observer will use a checklist to evaluate the students’ confidence, history taking and cardiac and respiratory physical exam skills.  Students will receive feedback from the observer regarding their performance.  Pre and post course observations will be compared.   We will present the curriculum and expect to have student data prior to the COMSEP national meeting.