Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP 2012 Indianapolis Meeting

Poster Presentation:

Simulation Technologies in the Pediatric Basic Clerkship: The Febrile Neonate

Robert A Dudas, MD - Johns Hopkins University; Michael Barone, MD MPH - Johns Hopkins University

Background information:  


Fever is the most common pediatric complaint in healthcare settings. National (COMSEP) medical student curricular objectives include: 1) the problem solving skill of developing an age-appropriate differential diagnosis for a patient with fever 2) the ability to outline a diagnostic plan based upon this differential 3) the ability to interpret the results of commonly used diagnostic tests 4) the ability to formulate a therapeutic plan and 5) the ability to inform the health care team of the relevant thought process and decisions. The purpose of this session is to help medical students develop an approach to evaluating pediatric fever.


Objective(s) or goals

Students will recognize and list the important historical information and physical findings in the evaluation of an infant presenting with fever and develop an age-appropriate differential diagnosis. Students will also demonstrate the ability to perform the essential diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in an infant presenting with a fever.


Students will interpret the results of diagnostic tests, recognizing the age-appropriate values for laboratory tests  


Students will formulate an appropriate therapeutic plan and be able to articulate their clinical reasoning 


Research methods or description of the innovative program 

Students are assigned pre-reading prior to the workshop (Approach to the Febrile Neonate Students then participate in a 20 minute lecture using audience response system (ARS) to assess their knowledge and understanding. 

Students are divided into small groups (5-6 students) to attend four stations each lasting 20 minutes: 

    1. Lumbar puncture 
    2. IV placement and phlebotomy
    3. Bladder catheterization
    4. Interpretation of laboratory results


One hundred thirty one students evaluated this module. Students rated this exercise highly with 100% agreeing that this session increased their SKILLS related to this topic and 91% strongly agreeing that this session was educationally valuable.


Students completed pediatric procedures with faculty feedback in a simulation environment that promoted active learning.



As part of a series of structured educational workshops we utilized ARS and partial task trainers to teach medical students an approach to pediatric fever. The workshop is highly rated by medical students. Future evaluation will measure correlation with performance on our institutional comprehensive clinical skills examination