Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP Meeting in Ottawa, ON

Poster Presentation:

A student led quality improvement curriculum and experience in the Pediatric Clerkship

Alison M. Cesarz,Rush Medical College,Chicago,Illinois,Xiang Liu,Rush Medical College,Chicago,IL,Shobha . Rao,Rush University Medical Center,Chicago,IL,Laura . Meltzer,Rush University Medical Center,Chicago,IL,Elizabeth R. Van Opstal,Rush University Medical Center,Chicago,IL


High-quality education and patient care are delivered when medical students are incorporated into the culture of safety. 


The Pediatric Clerkship can provide an opportunity to gain education on quality improvement (QI) models and to apply this to medical experiences. Through taking ownership in a QI project, third year medical students will have enhanced knowledge, comfort, and experience in patient safety.


In the beginning of third year, students interested in QI education participated in a faculty and peer led session on models of QI. Online modules and resources were also provided for self-directed learning, including the Minnesota Department of Health Public Health and QI Toolbox1, and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Open School2. Two students were identified as leaders for the year, and there were at least two QI champions per rotation. Champions in the first rotation chose the project. Champions gained hands-on experience by leading their classmates in one part of a Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) template. Champions also shared deliverables at the end of each rotation to communicate the project’s status to their classmates in the upcoming rotation. At of the end of the year, the leaders will meet with QI hospital leaders and clerkship faculty to critically review the project’s methods and outcomes.

Current champions are focusing on the problem of caregiver understanding and identification of their healthcare team on the inpatient pediatrics floor. Their intervention is a brief presentation educating caregivers on how to identify different providers on the care team and know their role. They are in the process of collecting data via caregiver surveys.


Through pre and post surveys, students' attitudes and self-perception of competency with QI are being monitored but not yet available in this pilot. One benefit to the curriculum is the relatively small time commitment for students and faculty, about two hours per rotation. The online curriculum can easily be instituted within other clerkships and institutions.