Medical Education Curriculum

Saturday, 7 April, 2012 - 11:45 to 13:00
Conference room: 

Discrepancies between normative, expected and observed student workload reveal curriculum structure inconsistencies

Abstract: 
Background: Student workload is considered from three view-points: normative (8 hours/day, 5 days/week, 20 weeks/semester equals 800h/semester); expected (the planned by the teacher workload the average student should devote to get an average pass examination mark 7.5 out of 10, pass cut-point 5); observed (the actual workload students devote to pass the exams). Do they coincide? Methods: A questionnaire was administered to all Ioannina medical students during both 2011 semesters to report the hours they devoted in lectures, laboratories, clinic-attachments, homework, self-study, and examinations for the examined courses. All teachers were asked to report the corresponding hours they have planned their courses for the average student. Results: Of the 284 student questionnaires collected, 277 were valid. Of the 109 courses offered, 50 till now reported corresponding expected hours. Compared to 800h normative semester, first semester students reported 481h (60%), third 771 ( 96%), fifth 666 (83%), seventh 591 (74%), ninth 1217 (152%), eleventh or twelfth 1322 (165%). Giving some course examples, Biostatistics expected workload was 92h (~4ECTS, as officially allocated), while passed students reported average mark 7.0 by 56.2h workload (~2ECTS). Pharmacology expected 213h (~8.5ECTS >7 officially allocated), while passed students reported average mark 8.0 by 187.5h (~7.5ECTS). Robotic surgery (elective) expected workload was 95h (~4ECTS >>1 officially allocated), while passed students reported average mark 8.8 by 17.2h (<1ECTS). Discussion: Teachers and students had no previous experience on this kind of survey and they might have been quite confused. Non-representative student sampling and recall bias are the main limitations. Conclusion: However, tactile numbers are now available, revealing great deviations between normative, expected, observed, and allocated working hours, that seem to be beyond these limitations. Since student workload discrepancies reflect curriculum structure inconsistencies, the solving of the latter will decrease the former. Take-home-message: Quantifying expected and observed student workload gives a great opportunity to restructure our whole curriculum.
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Do medical teachers and medical students communicate? a qualitative study

Abstract: 
Background: The three components of undergraduate medical education are the teachers, the students, and the curriculum. For a high quality medical education, a good communication level between students and teachers and a good organization of the curriculum are necessary. Good communication skills are a necessary capacityfor a medical teacher. Objective: The evaluation of communication level between medical students and medical teachers in University of Ioannina Medical School. Methods: In a first phase (June 2011), 137 third-year students of the Ioannina University Medical School were asked “Why students and teachers do not communicate?” (open) The response rate was 60% (82/137). In a second phase (December 2011), 132 third-year students of the same school (54 male, 60 female, 18 not declared) were asked whether students and teachers communicate well (yes/no) and why(open), and to propose ways to improve this communication (open). The data were analyzed by two independent investigators (LB, JE), and the whole team discussesthe findings in the light of the communication theories of Pavlov, Shannon, Bateson, and Watzlawick. Results: In the first phase, the obstacles in communication were categorized in the following categories: obstacles related to sender and receiver (71/82), obstacles related with the message and the communication pathway (39/82), and obstacles related with the communication background (21/82). In the second phase, 1student absolutely agreed in the question “Teachers and students communicate very well. Do you agree?”, 15 agreed, 62 rather agreed, 36 rather disagreed, 15 disagreed, and 3 absolutely disagreed; Mainly (115/132) they agreed that this communication could be improved, while few (16) did not. Open questions on why they believe so and how to improve are under analysis. Conclusions: The students consider that there are severe problems in communication between students and teachers, and agree that the situation could be improved.
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Strengthening the cooperation in education and health care among medical faculties: the MEFANET project experience and its extensions

Abstract: 
The MEFANET project (MEdical FAculties NETwork) has initiated international, effective and open cooperation among all medical faculties in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. One of the elementary goals of the project is to advance medical teaching and learning with the use of modern information and communication technologies. As an instrument for that, MEFANET has decided to develop an original and uniform solution for educational web portals which are used, together with a central gate, to offer and share digital educational content. Three fundamental principles of the educational web platform will be described: 1. medical disciplines linker, 2. federative framework for users' authentication/authorization, 3. four-dimensional quality assessment. Recent developments have focused on a new set of tools for multidimensional assessment of published contents quality. The following four dimensions are included: A. review, B. typological classification, C. the level of the target groups, D. users’ self-study score. This 4-D assessment promises wider range of tools for the organization of published contents, as well as the opportunity to present teaching materials provided with expert commentary from selected medical professional societies.
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Web based Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (WebOSCEs) at AUTH

Abstract: 
Clinical competency and assessment can poorly achieved through traditional methods in Medicine. An alternative proposal is the development of OSCE stations; OSCE stands for Objective Structured Clinical Examination and is used to test clinical skill performance and competence.In our medical school, the Clinical Skills Lab is organized based on the philosophy of OSCE stations. The OSCE examination and practice, in general, involves a circuit of short (5-15 minutes) stations and each station has a different examiner and simulated patient (actor). The stations are standardized this way and complex procedures areperformed and assessed without endangering real patients' health. An extension of this work was the design and implementation of OSCEs in electronic format (WebOSCEs), on line available to the students. These e-OSCE stations, through the interactive web pages developed- which wereenriched with media material- are aimed to be used to assess applied medical knowledge in the context of basic clinical skills.For that work, the use of two programs, complementary to each other in the area of education, was essential; VUE (Virtual Understanding Environment)and OpenLabyrinth. In our experience, setting up OSCE stations in electronic format is cost and effort effective and can provide a realistic simulation of a real OSCE stations in the era of clinical skills. The aim of that work was to extend clinical practice through new educational experiences and to support medical students in decision takingand professional attitudes.
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Using mEducator technologies in transforming the medical curriculum in AUTH: the ARIADNE project/initiative

Abstract: 
Current medical education is largely based in problem based (PBL) and self directed learning. The aim of ARIADNE project was the design and implementation of a series of virtual patient educational scenarios with the support of mEducator technologies, since the last have offered new potentialities in the fields of medical education in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. These virtual patients - through the interactive web pages developed – are aimed to be used to assess applied knowledge, clinical reasoning and professional attitudes in the context of medical skills. The project team of ARIADNE (64 attendees from the medical school), including Prof Chatzisevastou-Loukidou as a leader, was trained under her coordination, considering the pedagogical/technical aspects of virtual patient use and design. A pool of virtual patient both linear and branching cases was created and access to virtual patients will be given to 312 medical students (during the end of April 2012.
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