Daxa P. Clarke, MD, MD, University of Arizona College of Medicine--Phoenix and Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ, Sara Bode, MD, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ, Zachary Robbins, MD, Maricopa Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ, Lilia Parra-Roide, MD, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ, Kipp Charlton, MD, Maricopa Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ, Grace L. Caputo, MD, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ
Background: As third year medical students enter their clerkships, they are experiencing full time clinical medicine for the first time. During this time, not only are they learning the different aspects of clinical medicine, but they are also “trying on” each specialty for fit. Based on these experiences, the majority of students will make their decisions about residency careers. A typical clerkship may offer limited exposure to subspecialties within its field.
Objective: Starting in July 2011, the Pediatrics Clerkship at the University of Arizona College of Medicine—Phoenix has chosen to individualize training for students. In addition to providing them the traditional clerkship experience, we include additional specialty experiences for each student based on potential career aspirations and interests.
Description: At the start of the pediatric clerkship, each student is required to create an Individualized Learning Plan for the clerkship including future specialty consideration and career goals. Based on this information, the Clerkship Director works with the student to create a customized educational plan. Examples of individualized educational plans are: an MS3 with an interest in Intensive Care who spent 1 week of his 3 weeks of inpatient experience in the Pediatric ICU (rather than general pediatric floor); an MS3 with an interest in Pediatric Heme-Onc who did “continuity clinic” in the Heme-Onc clinic (akin to the resident continuity clinic, the student spent one afternoon/week in the Heme-Onc clinic during her Inpatient experience); an MS3 with an interest in Pediatric Anesthesia who spent one full day in the OR working with the Pediatric Anesthesiologist and learning procedures.
Outcomes: Over the past 12 months, pediatric clerkship students have participated in individualized education in Anesthesia, Hematology/Oncology, Intensive Care, GI, Sports Medicine, Endocrinology, Breastfeeding, High Risk Homeless Youth, Cardiology, Neurology, Rheumatology, Pulmonology, Adolescent Medicine, and Emergency Medicine. Shelf exam scores and clerkship composite scores have remained comparable to previous years. In addition, students were able to complete the required patient and procedures based on COMSEP learning objectives despite the time away from general pediatrics. Subjectively, all students reported positive feedback about their experiences.
Conclusion: Students in their Pediatric Clerkship have both gained more experience in subspecialties of Pediatrics and have augmented their experience of pediatrics by Individualized Education. We will continue to expand our Individualized Educational Program. As we move forward, we have plans to expand our project in which 1-2 students in each block will experience Individualized Education. Data collection will include a pre and post survey completed by the student, assessment of faculty satisfaction, and formal comparisons of shelf exam scores, clinical evaluation scores, and final clerkship grades between the students who were involved in Individualized Training and the students who completed the standard clerkship experience.