Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP Meeting in Ottawa, ON

Poster Presentation:

The use of iPad by Medical Students to educate patients during the Pediatric Clerkship; a Pilot study

Beth . Van Opstal,Rush University,Chicago,IL,Elizabeth V. Janofsky,Rush University,Chicago,IL,Danielle . Crawford,Rush University,Chicago,IL,George . Ziegler,Rush University,Chicago,IL

Background: Tablet technology is commonplace in the daily lives of medical students as well as patients and caregivers, yet research into the use of iPads for patient education in pediatrics is limited. While research suggests that multi-media methods of patient/caregiver education are preferred and more effective, third year medical students (M3s) often lack experience in using technology to provide patient education. They also lack opportunities to receive feedback on patient education.

Objectives: (1). Provide M3s in the pediatric clerkship the training and opportunity to provide patient education using technology (2). Develop and implement a patient/caregiver evaluation form which provides students feedback on teaching abilities. (3). Assess patients’/caregivers’ confidence after receiving medical education from M3s which utilizes iPads.

Methods: Fourth year medical students and clerkship faculty demonstrated for M3s patient education resources (iPad apps). M3s were then asked to provide brief patient education on a topic of their choice, using these resources or other technology. They were then required to have a patient/caregiver complete a clinical experience evaluation form, which includes both numerical and open-ended questions regarding the education they received. The form also asked students to self-reflect on the experience. During small group sessions, they also shared their presentations with their fellow students.

Results: Preliminary data from 19 surveys suggests that patients/caregivers felt more confident in the topic presented, with comfort increasing from 4.1 to 4.8 (on a scale of 5) post intervention. They strongly appreciated the use of technology to present the information, rating iPad use as 4.8 (on scale of 5) in usefulness to convey information. Subjective caregiver comments often focused on the strength of students ability to communicate topic information, through helpful multimedia methods, in a way that they could understand. Student comments often focused on desire for more time and opportunities to educate patients.

Discussion: This pilot appears to provide valuable education for patients/caregivers and medical students alike through utilization of technology. Such innovations help ensure that medical students remain at the forefront of merging technology with the social aspects of medicine by having more patient responsibility.