Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP Meeting in Ottawa, ON

Poster Presentation:

A Flipped Classroom and Case-Based Approach to Prepare Medical Students for Vaccine-Related Conversations with Parents

Deborah Lehman,DGSOM at UCLA,Los Angeles,CA,Allison Coleman,DGSOM at UCLA,Los Angeles,CA,Anju . Relan,DGSOM at UCLA,Los Angeles,CA

Background:  Despite the success of childhood vaccinations, there remains parental resistance to routine vaccinations, resulting in falling coverage in some populations. Physicians play a critical role in communicating efficacy and safety of vaccinations but rarely receive formal training to prepare them for these conversations. 

Objective: To develop a medical student curriculum to educate students about accessing reliable resources and to allow them to practice addressing common parental concerns about vaccinations.

Curriculum:  We designed a curriculum for students on their third year pediatric clerkship. This innovative curriculum adopts a “flipped classroom” approach.  Students view a 30-minute podcast prior to the interactive session that provides an overview of the childhood vaccination schedule and the impact of vaccinations on vaccine-preventable diseases.  In a follow up face-to-face session, students are divided into small groups and each presented with a different clinical scenario:

  1. “Liam”: 12-month-old due for vaccines. Parent is concerned about “toxins,” in the vaccines and is worried about live viral vaccines.
  2. “Emily”:  7-week-old due for her first set of vaccines.  Parent does not believe vaccines are necessary and prefers Emily to acquire immunity “naturally.”
  3. “Clara”: 8-month-old who has only received her 2-month vaccines.  Parent wants to “spread out the vaccines” and requests a specific alternative schedule.
  4. “Santiago”: 11-year-old who comes in for an acute care visit (sprained ankle). Parent has concerns about the HPV vaccine suggested for the visit.

Each group of students researches the vaccines that are due, responds to specific parental concerns about vaccines and the vaccine schedule, and answers facilitator generated follow-up questions. The group’s findings and agreed upon approach to the concerned parent are then shared with the larger group.

Results: Students reviewed the curriculum content and the flipped classroom approach favorably. They reported the curriculum provided them with an enjoyable and effective learning experience

Discussion: We restructured the curriculum from a traditional PowerPoint lecture to a case-based interactive session to teach both basic vaccine knowledge and to allow students the opportunity to practice addressing common parental concerns. Ultimately, we will compare the students who participated in this curriculum to a control group who received a traditional lecture regarding vaccines. We will assess vaccine-related knowledge and confidence discussing vaccines with families, including vaccine hesitant families.