How Clerkship Students Learn Procedural Skills

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PURPOSE:To assess how clerkship students at the Larner College of Medicine receive instruction in procedural skills during their clerkship in obstetrics and gynecologyBACKGROUND:Achieving competence in procedural skills is an important but overlooked aspect of formal medical education. The Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO) defined nine basic clinical skills to be incorporated into clerkship curriculums in the United States. Clerkship students are expected to gain competency in these skills.METHODS:An online 16-question survey was distributed to third and fourth-year medical students. The survey listed the nine basic skills. For each skill, students indicated how they received procedural instruction. Data was collected anonymously. The survey was approved by the medical school IRB committee before distribution.RESULTS:We received a response rate of 43%. Per skill, the instructor varied with either residents or attendings as the primary educators. The most preferred method of instruction was a resident-led workshop and the second most preferred was an acting-intern led workshop. More than 65% and 75% of students indicated that their confidence in performing the skill would have increased with more instruction and with more practice respectively.DISCUSSION:Results show that clerkship students rely on residents as teachers and suggest the potential role of acting interns as educators. These findings demonstrate the importance of developing, implementing, maintaining and assessing a robust Resident and Medical Student as Teacher curriculums to equip residents and senior medical students with a teaching skills set to facilitate the learning of the acquisition of technical skills for clerkship students.

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