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Mindfulness-based stress reduction training is associated with greater empathy and reduced anxiety for graduate healthcare students
Peter Barbosa, Gaye Raymond, Cheryl Zlotnick, James Wilk, Robert Toomey III, James Mitchell III
January-April 2013, 26(1):9-14
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.112794  PMID:23823667
Introduction: Graduate healthcare students experience significant stressors during professional training. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a behavioural intervention designed to teach self-regulatory skills for stress reduction and emotion management. This study examines the impact of MBSR training on students from five healthcare graduate programs in a quasi-experimental trial. Methods : A total of 13 students completed the MBSR program and were compared with 15 controls. Both groups answered validated questionnaires measuring anxiety, burnout and empathy at baseline, at conclusion of the course (week 8) and 3 weeks post-course completion (week 11). Results : Significant decrease in anxiety at weeks 8 and 11 compared with baseline (P<0.001 and P<0.01, respectively) was observed using the Burns Anxiety Inventory. Significant increase in empathy at week 8 (P<0.0096) was observed using the Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy. Week 11 demonstrated a decrease in empathy from baseline (not statistically significant) across all subjects. No significant differences in burnout scores at weeks 8 and 11 were observed between those in the intervention and control groups. Conclusions : These results provide supportive evidence of MBSR as a behavioural intervention to reduce anxiety and increase empathy among graduate healthcare students.
  80 35,373 6,387
The Social Accountability of Medical Schools and its Indicators
Charles Boelen, Shafik Dharamsi, Trevor Gibbs
September-December 2012, 25(3):180-194
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.109785  PMID:23823638
Context : There is growing interest worldwide in social accountability for medical and other health professional schools. Attempts have been made to apply the concept primarily to educational reform initiatives with limited concern towards transforming an entire institution to commit and assess its education, research and service delivery missions to better meet priority health needs in society for an efficient, equitable an sustainable health system. Methods : In this paper, we clarify the concept of social accountability in relation to responsibility and responsiveness by providing practical examples of its application; and we expand on a previously described conceptual model of social accountability (the CPU model), by further delineating the parameters composing the model and providing examples on how to translate them into meaningful indicators. Discussion : The clarification of concepts of social responsibility, responsiveness and accountability and the examples provided in designing indicators may help medical schools and other health professional schools in crafting their own benchmarks to assess progress towards social accountability within the context of their particular environment.
  61 16,285 3,495
Facilitating Students' Reflective Practice in a Medical Course: Literature Review
Lisa Jane Chaffey, Evelyne Johanna Janet de Leeuw, Gerard Anthony Finnigan
September-December 2012, 25(3):198-203
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.109787  PMID:23823640
Introduction : Reflection and reflective practice is of increasing importance in medical education curricula. The aim of this review is to summarise the literature published around facilitating reflection in a medical course, and to answer the question : W0 hat is the current evidence regarding learning and development moments across the medical curriculum in developing students' reflective practice? Methods : A review of the literature was undertaken using defined databases and the search terms 'medical students', 'medical education', 'reflection', 'reflect*' and 'medicine'. The search was limited to peer-reviewed published material in English and between the years 2001 and 2011, and included research, reviews and opinion pieces. Results : Thirty-six relevant articles were found, identifying enhancing factors and barriers to effectively teaching reflective practice within medical curricula, relating to: The breadth of the meaning of reflection; facilitating reflection by medical educators; using written or web-based portfolios to facilitate reflection; and assessing the reflective work of students. Discussion : A variety of reflective purposes was found in this literature review. Evidence indicates that, if students are unclear as to the purpose of reflection and do not see educators modelling reflective behaviours, they are likely to undervalue this important skill regardless of the associated learning and development opportunities embedded in the curriculum.
  48 18,542 2,990
Grit: A predictor of medical student performance
Lisa Renee Miller-Matero, Sarah Martinez, Lisa MacLean, Kathleen Yaremchuk, Alvin B Ko
May-August 2018, 31(2):109-113
DOI:10.4103/efh.EfH_152_16  PMID:30531053
Background: Several predictors of medical school performance have been identified, yet more research is needed to select applicants who will perform well. Grit is a personality trait that is described as persevering through difficult tasks. Although it is hypothesized that this type of trait would be high in a medical student population, this has not been studied. The purpose of this study was to examine grit among medical students and to explore whether grit-predicted performance in medical school. Methods: There were 131 graduating medical students who completed a questionnaire in May 2014 on grit as well as demographic questions and involvement in other activities in medical school. Data on test scores, years in medical school, and class ranking were obtained from the medical school. Results: The average grit score among 130 medical students was high (mean = 4.01, standard deviation = 0.42). Those who completed the program in 4 years had higher grit scores than those who completed in 5 years (P = 0.01). Grit was related to medical school performance including clinical knowledge scores (P = 0.02). There was also a difference between the highest and lowest class rank (P = 0.03). Discussion: Medical students have high levels of trait-like perseverance and it appears that those with higher levels of grit are more likely to perform better in medical school.
  45 10,383 1,361
Assessing reading levels of health information: uses and limitations of flesch formula
Pranay Jindal, Joy C MacDermid
January-April 2017, 30(1):84-88
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.210517  PMID:28707643
Background: Written health information is commonly used by health-care professionals (HCPs) to inform and assess patients in clinical practice. With growing self-management of many health conditions and increased information seeking behavior among patients, there is a greater stress on HCPs and researchers to develop and implement readable and understandable health information. Readability formulas such as Flesch Reading Ease (FRE) and Flesch–Kincaid Reading Grade Level (FKRGL) are commonly used by researchers and HCPs to assess if health information is reading grade appropriate for patients. Purpose: In this article, we critically analyze the role and credibility of Flesch formula in assessing the reading level of written health information. Discussion: FRE and FKRGL assign a grade level by measuring semantic and syntactic difficulty. They serve as a simple tool that provides some information about the potential literacy difficulty of written health information. However, health information documents often involve complex medical words and may incorporate pictures and tables to improve the legibility. In their assessments, FRE and FKRGL do not take into account (1) document factors (layout, pictures and charts, color, font, spacing, legibility, and grammar), (2) person factors (education level, comprehension, health literacy, motivation, prior knowledge, information needs, anxiety levels), and (3) style of writing (cultural sensitivity, comprehensiveness, and appropriateness), and thus, inadequately assess reading level. New readability measures incorporate pictures and use complex algorithms to assess reading level but are only moderately used in health-care research and not in clinical practice. Future research needs to develop generic and disease-specific readability measures to evaluate comprehension of a written document based on individuals' literacy levels, cultural background, and knowledge of disease.
  43 10,578 957
Low back pain and associated risk factors among undergraduate students of a medical college in Delhi
Nupur Aggarwal, Tanu Anand, Jugal Kishore, Gopal Krishna Ingle
May-August 2013, 26(2):103-108
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.120702  PMID:24200731
Context: Low back pain (LBP) is the most common orthopedic problem worldwide and is known to affect both younger and older adults. The stressful and time consuming curriculum of medical students predisposes them to this problem. Few statistics are available on prevalence rates of LBP among medical students in India. This study assesses the prevalence and risk factors of LBP in students of a medical college in Delhi. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in a medical college in Delhi. The study subjects (n = 160; 100% participation) were selected via stratified random sampling from all undergraduate medical students (aged 17-25 years). A validated questionnaire was used to collect the data. Results: The overall prevalence of LBP among the students over the past one year was 47.5% (n = 76) with a prevalence of 32.5% at the time of data collection. Prevalence among males and females was 45.3% and 50%, respectively. Significant associations were found between LBP in the past year and coffee drinking (Regular = 57%, Occasional = 38.9%, Never = 65.2%, χ2 = 7.24, P= 0.02), body posture (Normal = 32.6%, Abnormal = 75%, χ2 = 18.97, P < 0.001), place of study (Study table = 33.8%, Bed = 58.6, Both = 61.5% χ2 = 10.51, P = 0.01), family history of LBP (Present = 75%, Absent = 38.3%, χ2 = 16.17, P < 0.001) and carrying backpacks (Regular = 50%, Occasional = 33%, Never = 0%, χ2 = 16.17, P < 0.001). The mean scores of depression (2.7 vs. 1.6), anxiety (3.5 vs 1.9), and monotonous work (3.9 vs. 1.8) were found to be significantly higher in group with LBP than in the non-LBP group. However, no association with LBP was seen for weight lifting, watching television/working on computers, driving, wearing heels, or body mass index. Discussion: The high prevalence of LBP among medical students and its association with poor study habits, lifestyle habits, and psychological factors highlight a need for life skills training, education, counseling, and restructuring of the medical curriculum.
  36 20,069 2,936
A first step in addressing medical education Curriculum gaps in lesbian-, gay-, bisexual-, and transgender-related content: The University of Louisville Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health Certificate Program
Susan Sawning, Stacie Steinbock, Rachel Croley, Ryan Combs, Ann Shaw, Toni Ganzel
May-August 2017, 30(2):108-114
DOI:10.4103/efh.EfH_78_16  PMID:28928340
Background: Individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), gender nonconforming, and/or born with differences of sex development have specific health needs and significant health disparities exacerbated by a lack of training among health professionals. The University of Louisville LGBT Health Certificate Program used an interdisciplinary approach to increase training, potentially enabling future physicians to provide quality healthcare to LGBT patients. Methods: A pretest-post-test design was used to investigate medical students' (n = 39) attitude and knowledge outcomes after program participation. Attitudinal items with Likert-type responses were analyzed using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Baseline frequency and percentage of correct responses were tabulated for knowledge questions. At both pre- and post-test, the 11 knowledge items were summed to establish a total knowledge score, creating two total scores. The paired sample t-test was used to evaluate the pre- and post-change, and Cohen's D was used to assess effect size. All P values were two-tailed. Statistical significance was set by convention at P < 0.05. Results: Students correctly answered 69% or less of the knowledge questions at baseline. Total correct knowledge scores significantly increased post intervention with the effect size being large (Cohen's D = 0.90, P < 0.001). Attitudes significantly increased post intervention on two items (P = 0.019 and P = 0.037). Some attitude items decreased post intervention: students felt it is more challenging to conduct a patient history with a LGB patient (pre-mean agreement = 2.44; post-mean agreement = 2.97, P = 0.018). Conclusions: Medical educators can play a critical role in decreasing LGBT healthcare disparities. The University of Louisville LGBT Health Certificate Program played an important first step in increasing medical students' knowledge and improving certain attitudes about LGBT patients.
  35 12,049 1,786
The training for health equity network evaluation framework: A pilot study at five health professional schools
Simone J Ross, Robyn Preston, Iris C Lindemann, Marie C Matte, Rex Samson, Filedito D Tandinco, Sarah L Larkins, Bjorg Palsdottir, Andre-Jacques Neusy
May-August 2014, 27(2):116-126
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.143727  PMID:25420971
Background: The Training for Health Equity Network (THEnet), a group of diverse health professional schools aspiring toward social accountability, developed and pilot tested a comprehensive evaluation framework to assess progress toward socially accountable health professions education. The evaluation framework provides criteria for schools to assess their level of social accountability within their organization and planning; education, research and service delivery; and the direct and indirect impacts of the school and its graduates, on the community and health system. This paper describes the pilot implementation of testing the evaluation framework across five THEnet schools, and examines whether the evaluation framework was practical and feasible across contexts for the purposes of critical reflection and continuous improvement in terms of progress towards social accountability. Methods: In this pilot study, schools utilized the evaluation framework using a mixed method approach of data collection comprising of workshops, qualitative interviews and focus group discussions, document review and collation and analysis of existing quantitative data. Results: The evaluation framework allowed each school to contextually gather evidence on how it was meeting the aspirational goals of social accountability across a range of school activities, and to identify strengths and areas for improvement and development. Discussion: The evaluation framework pilot study demonstrated how social accountability can be assessed through a critically reflective and comprehensive process. As social accountability focuses on the relationship between health professions schools and health system and health population outcomes, each school was able to demonstrate to students, health professionals, governments, accrediting bodies, communities and other stakeholders how current and future health care needs of populations are addressed in terms of education, research, and service learning.
  29 8,119 1,253
Factors causing stress among students of a Medical College in Kolkata, India
Soma Gupta, Supriyo Choudhury, Manisha Das, Aparna Mondol, Richeek Pradhan
January-April 2015, 28(1):92-95
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.161924  PMID:26261123
Background: Medical students feel a significant amount of stress due to a variety of factors. Few studies have explored the relative size of these various stressors to identify which are most important. This study was undertaken to quantify the magnitude of various sources of stress among students of a medical college at Kolkata, West Bengal, and also to assess the reliability of Medical Students' Stressor Questionnaire (MSSQ-40) in this context. Methods: We evaluated the degree of stress along various dimensions using the MSSQ-40, a scale to measure stress among medical students that has been validated in other countries. Differences in stress and its causal factors were analyzed across demographic subgroups. The reliability of the MSSQ-40 was evaluated using Cronbach's alpha. Results: The overall prevalence of stress was 91.1% and the vast majority of students (94.9%) were stressed due to academic reasons. Academic related stress was found to be higher among students who are not conversant with the local language, experienced a change in medium of teaching from secondary school to medical school, and resided in a hostel. The MSSQ-40 in general, and its academic-related stress domain specifically, were found to be reliable in our setting. Discussion: Early detection and remedying stressors will help to build physical and mental health in medical students. Language training early during the medical course might reduce academic stress among our students. Further studies should relate individuals' stress with their academic performance.
  28 23,491 2,057
Comparison of quality of life between medical students and young general populations
Daniel Pagnin, Valeria de Queiroz
September-December 2015, 28(3):209-212
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.178599  PMID:26996647
Background: During the course of their education, medical students learn to attend to the quality of life of their patients. However, their own quality of life can begin to decrease early in medical school. The purpose of this study was to compare the quality of life of medical students to that of others their age, taking into account the medical school phase and gender. Methods: We used the short version of the World Health Organization Quality of Life Instrument to assess psychological well-being, physical health, social relationships and environmental conditions. The quality of life among 206 medical students was compared to that of 199 young people from a normative population using independent sample t- tests. In addition, the effects of medical school phase and gender on quality of life domains were also assessed by two-way between-groups analysis of variance. Results: Medical students showed worse psychological well-being and social relationships than young people in the normative sample. About one-half of the students revealed a low quality of life in the psychological and social domains and one-quarter showed a low quality of life in the physical health and environment domains. Medical school phase did not influence quality of life, however, gender had a large effect, where female students showed worse physical and psychological well-being than male students. Discussion: Poor psychological well-being and social relationships can have implications that exceed the doctor's personal well-being. Future doctors with a low quality of life may translate into their poorer performance, impairing patient care.
  27 8,998 1,310
A longitudinal study of relationships between previous academic achievement, emotional intelligence and personality traits with psychological health of medical students during stressful periods
Muhamad Saiful Bahri Yusoff, Ab Rahman Esa, Mohamad Najib Mat Pa, See Ching Mey, Rosniza Abdul Aziz, Ahmad Fuad Abdul Rahim
January-April 2013, 26(1):39-47
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.112800  PMID:23823672
Context: There is considerable evidence that emotional intelligence, previous academic achievement (i.e. cumulative grade point average (GPA)) and personality are associated with success in various occupational settings. This study evaluated the relationships of these variables with psychological health of first year medical students during stressful periods. Methods: A 1-year prospective study was done with students accepted into the School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia. Information on emotional intelligence, GPA and personality traits were obtained prior to admission. The validated Universiti Sains Malaysia Emotional Quotient Inventory and Universiti Sains Malaysia Personality Inventory were used to measure emotional intelligence and personality traits, respectively. Stress, anxiety and depression were measured by the 21-item Depression Anxiety Stress Scale during the end-of-course (time 1) and final (time 2) examinations. Results: At the less stressful period (time 1), stress level was associated with agreeableness and the final GPA, anxiety level was associated with emotional control and emotional conscientiousness and depression level was associated with the final GPA and extraversion. At the more stressful period (time 2), neuroticism associated with stress level, anxiety level was associated with neuroticism and emotional expression, and depression level was associated with neuroticism. Conclusions: This study found that neuroticism was the strongest associated factor of psychological health of medical students during their most stressful testing period. Various personality traits, emotional intelligence and previous academic performance were associated factors of psychological health during a less stressful period. These data suggest that early identification of medical students who are vulnerable to the stressful environment of medical schools might help them maintain psychological well-being during medical training.
  27 15,679 2,065
Community-based medical education: Is success a result of meaningful personal learning experiences?
Len Kelly, Lucie Walters, David Rosenthal
January-April 2014, 27(1):47-50
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.134311  PMID:24934943
Background: Community-based medical education (CBME) is the delivery of medical education in a specific social context. Learners become a part of social and medical communities where their learning occurs. Longitudinal integrated clerkships (LICs) are year-long community-based placements where the curriculum and clinical experience is typically delivered by primary care physicians. These programs have proven to be robust learning environments, where learners develop strong communication skills and excellent clinical reasoning. To date, no learning model has been offered to describe CBME. Methods: The characteristics of CBME are explored by the authors who suggest that the social and professional context provided in small communities enhances medical education. The authors postulate that meaningfulness is engendered by the authentic context, which develops over time. These relationships with preceptors, patients and the community provide meaningfulness, which in turn enhances learning. Results and Discussion: The authors develop a novel learning model. They propose that the context-rich environment of CBME allows for meaningful relationships and experiences for students and that such meaningfulness enhances learning.
  26 24,127 2,445
Medical students' and residents' conceptual structure of empathy: A qualitative study
Muneyoshi Aomatsu, Takashi Otani, Ai Tanaka, Nobutaro Ban, Jan van Dalen
January-April 2013, 26(1):4-8
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.112793  PMID:23823666
Background: Empathy is a crucial component of medicine. However, many studies that have used quantitative methods have revealed decline of learners' empathy during undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. We identified medical students' and residents' conceptual structures of empathy in medicine to examine possible differences between the groups in how they conceive empathy. Methods: We conducted a qualitative study with two focus group discussions in which six medical students and seven residents participated separately. The transcripts of the focus group discussions were analysed combining qualitative data analysis and theoretical coding. Results: Medical students and residents had different conceptual structures of empathy. While medical students thought that sharing emotions with patients was essential to showing empathy, residents expressed empathy according to their evaluation of patients' physical and mental health status. If the residents thought that showing empathy was necessary for the care of patients, they could show it, regardless of whether they shared the patients' emotions or not. Conclusions: The comparison of medical students' and residents' conceptual structures of empathy reveals a qualitative difference. Residents show more empathy to their patients by a cognitive decision as clinicians than medical students do. Communication skills training should consider the qualitative change of students' and residents' empathy with clinical experience. We should consider the change when we evaluate learners' empathy and introduce methods that cover the qualitative range of empathy.
  23 12,669 3,849
Mentorship in African health research training programs: an exploratory study of fogarty international center programs in Kenya and Uganda
Sara Bennett, Ligia Paina, Freddie Ssengooba, Douglas Waswa, James M M'Imunya
September-December 2013, 26(3):183-187
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.126001  PMID:25001352
Introduction: Mentorship is a critical element of capacity-building for health research as it can support career counseling, promote interest in health research and build professional networks. Few studies of mentorship have taken place in low- and middle-income countries. This paper explores the mentorship dimension of the Fogarty International Center's (FIC) support to research training in Kenya and Uganda. Methods: This exploratory study documents the nature of mentoring that occurred within FIC programs, considers the outcomes of mentoring, and the strengths and weaknesses of FIC trainee mentorship during and after training. Two case studies were conducted, at the University of Nairobi in Kenya and Makerere University in Uganda. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with former trainees, principal investigators and institutional leaders, exploring their perceptions of mentoring and its effects. Results: Mentoring aspects of FIC programs were highly valued. Respondents felt that following formal training in the US there was much still to learn about conducting research, and mentoring relationships provided support in applying for and implementing research grants. Mentoring arrangements were initially with US collaborators, but over time relationships with senior African colleagues became critical, particularly in terms of navigating university administrative systems. Mentees were typically highly motivated to pass their skills on to others, and became eager mentors later in their careers. A minority of respondents raised concerns about directive approaches to mentorship that reflect more hierarchical rather than egalitarian approaches. Discussion: Mentorship during and after FIC research training programs, while largely informal in nature, appears to have very positive impacts upon career development and inclination to remain in health research. Local African mentors often play a critical mentorship role, and their contributions should be better recognized.
  22 6,515 661
Reducing obesity prejudice in medical education
Kabir Matharu, Johanna F Shapiro, Rachel R Hammer, RL Kravitz, Machelle D Wilson, Faith T Fitzgerald
September-December 2014, 27(3):231-237
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.152176  PMID:25758385
Background: Healthcare worker attitudes toward obese individuals facilitate discrimination and contribute to poor health outcomes. Previous studies have demonstrated medical student bias toward obese individuals, but few have examined effects of the educational environment on these prejudicial beliefs. We sought to determine whether an innovative educational intervention (reading a play about obesity) could diminish obesity prejudice relative to a standard medical lecture. Methods: We conducted a randomized, controlled trial enrolling medical students (n = 129) from three universities. Students were assigned to play-reading or a standard lecture. Explicit attitudes and implicit bias toward obese individuals were assessed prior to intervention and after four months. Results: At baseline, students demonstrated moderate explicit and implicit bias toward obese people despite high scores on empathy. Students randomized to the play-reading group had significantly decreased explicit fat bias (P = 0.01) at follow-up, while students in the lecture group showed increased endorsement of a prescriptive model of care at the expense of a patient-centered approach (P = 0.03). There was a significant increase in empathy for those in both the theater (P = 0.007) and lecture group (P = 0.02). The intervention had no significant effect on implicit bias or regard for obesity as a civil rights issue. Discussion: Dramatic reading may be superior to traditional medical lectures for showcasing patient rights and preferences. The present study demonstrates for the first time that play-reading diminishes conscious obesity bias. Further research should determine whether nontraditional methods of instruction promote improved understanding of and care for obese patients.
  22 11,658 1,949
Pre-departure training and the social accountability of International Medical Electives
Lauren J Wallace, Allison Webb
May-August 2014, 27(2):143-147
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.143745  PMID:25420975
Background: Due to widespread awareness of global inequities in health and development, participation and interest in International Medical Electives has grown. However, it has been suggested that the benefits of these electives for students and communities may not outweigh the harms. Pre-departure training (PDT) has been proposed as a route through which participants can adequately prepare for their elective experience. Methods: Through a review of the current literature, this article explores the ethics of international medical electives using a social accountability framework and assesses the success of PDT in mitigating harms for students and communities. Results: We find that the literature on PDT is limited. What is clear from completed studies is that the focus of PDT has often been centered on the clinical experience, while theories of development and health inequity remain minor topics. We argue that a greater benefit for students and communities could be gained from framing health inequity from a critical perspective, and integrating mandatory global health education into medical school curricula. Discussion: We suggest that attention to only PDT is not enough. In a socially accountable program, community partnerships must be bilateral and respect communities as primary stakeholders in the training of students and in program evaluation. Unfortunately, research to-date has focused on the student experience; further studies of the community perspective would help to elicit how PDT and partnership models can be strengthened, improving the experiences of both students and communities. Finally, individual medical schools and organizations that offer global health elective experiences must ensure that they take responsibility for monitoring PDT.
  22 5,727 876
Resident perspectives on communication training that utilizes immersive virtual reality
Francis J Real, Dominick DeBlasio, Nicholas J Ollberding, David Davis, Bradley Cruse, Daniel Mclinden, Melissa D Klein
September-December 2017, 30(3):228-231
DOI:10.4103/efh.EfH_9_17  PMID:29786025
Background: Communication skills can be difficult to teach and assess in busy outpatient settings. These skills are important for effective counseling such as in cases of influenza vaccine hesitancy. It is critical to consider novel educational methods to supplement current strategies aimed at teaching relational skills. Methods: An immersive virtual reality (VR) curriculum on addressing influenza vaccine hesitancy was developed using Kern's six-step approach to curriculum design. The curriculum was meant to teach best-practice communication skills in cases of influenza vaccine hesitancy. Eligible participants included postgraduate level (PL) 2 and PL-3 pediatric residents (n = 24). Immediately following the curriculum, a survey was administered to assess residents' attitudes toward the VR curriculum and perceptions regarding the effectiveness of VR in comparison to other educational modalities. A survey was administered 1 month following the VR curriculum to assess trainee-perceived impact of the curriculum on clinical practice. Results: All eligible residents (n = 24) completed the curriculum. Ninety-two percent (n = 22) agreed or strongly agreed that VR simulations were like real-life patient encounters. Seventy-five percent (n = 18) felt that VR was equally effective to standardized patient (SP) encounters and less effective than bedside teaching (P < 0.001). At 1-month follow-up, 67% of residents (n = 16) agreed or strongly agreed that the VR experience improved how they counseled families in cases of influenza vaccine hesitancy. Discussion: An immersive VR curriculum at our institution was well-received by learners, and residents rated VR as equally effective as SP encounters. As such, immersive VR may be a promising modality for communication training.
  21 5,209 734
Application of Kern's Six-step approach to curriculum development by global health residents
Leigh R Sweet, Debra L Palazzi
May-August 2015, 28(2):138-141
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.170124  PMID:26609014
Background: Global health practitioners have a responsibility to deliver appropriate and effective health education to patients and families. We demonstrate how residents in a global health elective can utilize Kern's six-step approach to develop educational products for patients and their families. Methods: Residents completed a pre-curricular survey of knowledge, skills and attitudes regarding curriculum development. Kern's six-steps were introduced through a series of lectures; workshop exercises highlighted the application of each step: (i) Problem identification and general needs assessment, (ii) targeted needs assessment, (iii) goals and objectives, (iv) educational strategies, (v) implementation and (vi) evaluation and feedback. Residents used the six-steps to develop health education projects they subsequently implemented locally and abroad. Reflective exercises were conducted after utilization of each of the six steps. Residents also completed a post-curricular assessment of knowledge, skills and attitudes regarding curriculum development. Results: Mean scores on pre- and post-curricular self-assessment of knowledge were 18 and 26.5 (out of 28); skills 19.8 and 33.5 (out of 35); and attitudes 13.3 and 19.8 (out of 21), respectively. Reflective exercises highlighted resident sentiment that the six steps enabled them to be more thoughtful of the interventions they were undertaking in communities locally and abroad. They were impressed how the model allowed them to ensure their goals were aligned with those of patients and their families, fully engage their audience and effectively implement the curricula. Discussion: Kern's six-step approach to curriculum development is an effective method for global health residents to develop educational products for patients and families.
  20 20,362 3,433
The operating theatre as classroom: A qualitative study of learning and teaching surgical competencies
Violet Kieu, Leanne Stroud, Paul Huang, Mitchell Smith, Robert Spychal, David Hunter-Smith, Debra Nestel
January-April 2015, 28(1):22-28
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.161845  PMID:26261110
Background: There has been a worldwide movement toward competency-based medical education and training. However, this is the first qualitative study to analyze the perceptions of surgical trainees and surgeons toward competency-based education in the operating theatre. We aim to examine views toward the specific learning and teaching of the nine competencies of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) and to explore perceived ideal conditions and challenges for learning and teaching these competencies in the operating theatre. Methods: Individual semi-structured interviews with surgical trainees and surgeons in the specialty of General Surgery. Ten surgical trainees and surgeons who worked together were purposively sampled, for maximum variation, from an outer metropolitan public hospital in Melbourne, Australia, to identify emergent themes relating to learning and teaching surgical competencies in the operating theatre. Results: Five themes were identified as: (1) Learning and teaching specific surgical competencies is through relationship based mentoring and experiential learning; (2) Ideal conditions and challenges in the operating theatre are availability of time and personal attitude; (3) Level of pre-operative briefing was variable; (4) Intra-operative teaching is perceived as structured; and, (5) Post-operative debriefing is recognized as ideal but not consistently performed. Discussion: Professional relationships are important to both surgical trainees and surgeons in the process of learning and teaching competencies. Ad hoc apprenticeship style learning is perceived to remain prominent in the operating theatre. Sufficient time for training is valued by both groups. The surgical competencies are inherently different to each other. Some appear more difficult to learn and teach in the operating theatre, with technical expertise most readily identified and health advocacy least so. Elements of guided discovery learning and other educational models are described. Further emphasis on structured competency-based teaching methods may be beneficial for surgical trainees, surgeons and other specialties, both in Australia and worldwide.
  20 8,193 1,113
Improving breastfeeding medicine in undergraduate medical education: A student survey and extensive curriculum review with suggestions for improvement
Anna J Gary, Erin E Birmingham, Laurie B Jones
May-August 2017, 30(2):163-168
DOI:10.4103/efh.EfH_180_15  PMID:28928347
Background: Breastfeeding education should be incorporated routinely into medical school curricula. Despite strong evidence supporting exclusive breastfeeding of infants, lack of physician education has continued to undermine the practice of breastfeeding. Protecting and supporting breastfeeding should be a public health priority as it has the potential to save billions of dollars in health care and also provide the most benefit to the newborn infant. The purpose of this article was to evaluate how the United States undergraduate medical institution incorporates breastfeeding medicine into its curriculum and to suggest modifications that will improve breastfeeding education at all undergraduate medical institutions. Methods: The authors performed an in-depth review of the undergraduate medical curriculum at the United States medical institution. Course requirements and lectures were compared with the 12 knowledge-based and 12 skill-based competencies that the authors suggest all medical students should possess. In addition, the authors sent out an electronic survey to 600 medical students at the same institution to assess current students understanding and comfort with basic breastfeeding topics. Results: Students in the preclinical years are only learning 3 of the 12 knowledge-based competencies and 1 of the 12 skill-based competencies. Students in the clinical years are learning 5 of the 12 knowledge-based competencies and 9 of the 12 skill-based competencies. Survey results showed that the majorities of medical students were not comfortable with basic breastfeeding medicine and guidance. Discussion: The authors recommend several curriculum changes to advance breastfeeding education. A more targeted breastfeeding curriculum in medical education will help to improve physician knowledge, practice patterns, and confidence in breastfeeding management.
  19 6,511 739
Online Faculty Development for Creating E-learning Materials
Virginia Niebuhr, Bruce Niebuhr, Julie Trumble, Mary Jo Urbani
September-December 2014, 27(3):255-261
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.152186  PMID:25758389
Background: Faculty who want to develop e-learning materials face pedagogical challenges of transforming instruction for the online environment, especially as many have never experienced online learning themselves. They face technical challenges of learning new software and time challenges of not all being able to be in the same place at the same time to learn these new skills. The objective of the Any Day Any Place Teaching (ADAPT) faculty development program was to create an online experience in which faculty could learn to produce e-learning materials. Methods: The ADAPT curriculum included units on instructional design, copyright principles and peer review, all for the online environment, and units on specific software tools. Participants experienced asynchronous and synchronous methods, including a learning management system, PC-based videoconferencing, online discussions, desktop sharing, an online toolbox and optional face-to-face labs. Project outcomes were e-learning materials developed and participants' evaluations of the experience. Likert scale responses for five instructional units (quantitative) were analyzed for distance from neutral using one-sample t-tests. Interview data (qualitative) were analyzed with assurance of data trustworthiness and thematic analysis techniques. Results: Participants were 27 interprofessional faculty. They evaluated the program instruction as easy to access, engaging and logically presented. They reported increased confidence in new skills and increased awareness of copyright issues, yet continued to have time management challenges and remained uncomfortable about peer review. They produced 22 new instructional materials. Discussion: Online faculty development methods are helpful for faculty learning to create e-learning materials. Recommendations are made to increase the success of such a faculty development program.
  19 9,710 1,146
The fruits of authorship
Deepak Juyal, Vijay Thawani, Shweta Thaledi, Amber Prakash
May-August 2014, 27(2):217-220
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.143777  PMID:25420989
Scientific paper authorship is an important academic achievement for all research professionals. Being designated as an author of a paper has academic, research, social and financial implications. Signing of a manuscript as an author does confer credit but also transfers responsibility. While authors get credit for the published work, they must accept the public responsibility that goes with it. Over the past few years, there has been a rising trend in authorship abuses. The prevalent culture of "publish or perish" appears to be responsible for this. In an endeavor to ensure honest practice, the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), the Vancouver Group, developed the criteria for authorship and said that "all persons designated as authors should qualify for authorship and all those who qualify should be listed." However, authorship irregularities continue to exist and are a cause of concern. Budding authors should be enlightened about concurrent problems in authorship, during their formative years and encouraged toward fair practices in publications.
  19 4,774 614
Accounting for social accountability: Developing critiques of social accountability within medical education
Stacey A Ritz, Kathleen Beatty, Rachel H Ellaway
May-August 2014, 27(2):152-157
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.143747  PMID:25420977
Background: The concept of the social accountability of medical schools has garnered many followers, in response to a broad desire for greater social justice in health care. As its use has spread, the term 'social accountability' has become a meta-narrative for social justice and an inevitable and unquestionable good, while at the same time becoming increasingly ambiguous in its meaning and intent. In this article, we use the lenses of postmodernism and critical reflexivity to unpack the multiple meanings of social accountability. In our view, subjecting the concept of 'social accountability' to critique will enhance the ability to appraise the ways in which it is understood and enacted. Discussion: We contend that critical reflexivity is necessary for social accountability to achieve its aspirations, and hence we must be prepared to become accountable not only for our actions, but also for the ideologies and discourses underlying them.
  19 5,981 1,035
The Use of Human Patient Simulators to Enhance Clinical Decision-making of Nursing Students
S Powell-Laney, C Keen, K Hall
July 2012, 25(1):11-15
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.99201  PMID:23787379
Introduction: One of the newest teaching modalities in health education is the use of human patient simulators (HPS). A simulation scenario creates a software program vignette in which nursing, medical, and other students interact with a manikin to practice caring for patients in a risk-free environment. Although used extensively in schools of nursing, there is little research that examines if these expensive simulators improve the clinical decision-making ability of nursing students. The purpose of this quasi-experimental differentiated treatment study was to assess if HPS technology leads to greater clinical decision-making ability and clinical performance compared to the teaching modality of a paper and pencil case study. Methods: Students (n = 133) learning about the care of a patient with a myocardial infarction at four licensed practical nursing programs (LPN) in Pennysylvania, USA were randomly assigned to one of two groups at each site: an HPS simulation group or a paper and pencil case study group. One-tailed, independent t-tests were used to compare learning gains measured by differences in pre- and postclinical decision-making exam scores and clinical performance. Results: Results indicated that students in the simulation groups were significantly more likely to score higher on the clinical decision-making exams and to respond clinically by performing CPR more quickly on the manikin than students in the case study groups. On the 100-point exam, the simulation groups had a 20-point gain, while the case study groups had a 12-point gain (P < 0.001). Students in the simulation groups provided CPR to a manikin 30 seconds faster, on an average (P < 0.001). Discussion: Results validate the use of HPS technology in nursing education. Ultimately patients may benefit from increased knowledge and speed of care from practical nurses whose training was improved through the use of HPS technology.
  18 7,817 1,525
Doctor - patient Communication Issues for International Medical Graduates: Research Findings From Australia
P McGrath, D Henderson, J Tamargo, HA Holewa
July 2012, 25(1):48-54
DOI:10.4103/1357-6283.99206  PMID:23787384
Introduction: Understanding the impact of culture on medical communication is particularly important for international medical graduates (IMGs) who enter health systems from different cultures of origin. This article presents data on IMGs' perception of the impact of cultural factors on IMG doctor−patient communication during their integration into the Australian health system. Methods: The methodology used was a descriptive qualitative methodology, using iterative, open-ended, in-depth interviews with a sample of 30 IMGs employed at a hospital in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Results: According to subjects' comments, understanding patient-centered communication is a major challenge faced by IMGs during integration in the Australian health system. They perceive that this difficulty is associated with the major shift from the culture of their country of origin (described as paternalistic doctor-dominated communication system; standard practice to talk to the family and not the patient) to the very different health care culture of Australia (perceived to be more educated and informed consumers that demand high levels of information and discussion). The findings detail IMGs' experience with learning about patient-centered communication at the point of arrival, during integration and practice. Subjects' perceived the need to provide education on patient-centered communication for IMGs integrating into the Australian health system. Conclusion: There is a significant need for IMGs to be educated in cultural issues including doctor−patient communication practices in Australia.
  17 5,871 808
* Source: CrossRef