Teaching clinical skills by utilising community patient volunteers – a program evaluation
Introduction: The newly established Ipswich regional campus of the University of Queensland School of Medicine experienced difficulty in accessing inpatients for clinical skills teaching during its initial two years of operation. The community patient volunteer (CPV) program was developed to address this problem. Volunteers with significant past medical histories or clinical signs were recruited from the local community and rostered to attend tutorials on campus several times per year. Students practised history taking, physical examination and developed clinical reasoning skills, under the guidance of their clinician tutor. An evaluation of this program was undertaken.
Methods: Questionnaires were disseminated to Ipswich students and volunteers from 2010 and 2011. The surveys explored students’ views of the program compared with hospital-based bedside teaching, and volunteers reflected on their participation. Student performance on Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE) was compared between the base and regional cohorts.
Results: Students and volunteers reported benefits from participation in the CPV program. The results of the Ipswich students’ Year 2 OSCE in 2010 and 2011 were similar to the results of the Brisbane cohort, with a significant positive difference in favour of the Ipswich students in the areas of history taking and communication skills for 2011.
Discussion & Conclusions: Student learning was not disadvantaged by the use of the CPV program and may have been enhanced. Volunteers reported personal gains from participation.
Bryans, A. M., & Crothers, K. (1979). The volunteer patient as an educational resource. Journal of Medical Education, 54, 932‒937.
Clever, S. L., Dudas, R. A., Solomon, B. S., Yeh, H. C., Levine, D., Bertram, A., . . . Cofrancesco, J., Jr. (2011). Medical student and faculty perceptions of volunteer outpatients versus simulated patients in communication skills training. Academic Medicine, 86(11), 1437‒1442.
Coleman, K., & Murray, E. (2002) Patients’ views and feelings on the community- based teaching of undergraduate medical students: A qualitative study. Family Practice, 19(2), 183‒188.
Doucet, S., Andrews, C., Godden-Webster, A. L., Lauckner, H., & Nasser, S. (2012). The Dalhousie Health mentors program: Introducing students to collaborative patient/client-centered practice. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 26, 336‒338.
Haq, I., Fuller, J., & Dacre, J. (2006). The use of patient partners with back pain to teach undergraduate medical students. Rheumatology, 45, 430‒434.
Jha, V., Quinton, N. D., Bekker, H. L., & Roberts, T. E. (2009). Strategies and interventions for the involvement of real patients in medical education: A systematic review. Medical Education, 43, 10‒20.
Kelly, D., & Wykurz, G. (1998). Patients as teachers: A new perspective in medical education. Education for Health, 11(3), 360‒377.
Kent, G. G., Clarke, P., & Dalrymple-Smith, D. (1981). The patient is the expert: A technique for teaching interviewing skills. Medical Education, 15(1), 38‒42.
Kretzschmar, R. (1978). Evolution of the gynecology teaching associate: An education specialist. American Journal of Obsterics & Gynecology, 131, 367‒373.
McKinlay, E., McBain, L., & Gray, B. (2009). Teaching and learning about chronic conditions management for undergraduate medical students: Utilizing the patient- as-teacher approach. Chronic Illness, 5, 209‒218.
Raj, N., Badcock, L. J., Brown, G. A., Deighton, C. M., & O’Reilly, S. C. (2006). Undergraduate musculoskeletal examination teaching by trained patient educators: A comparison with doctor-led teaching. Rheumatology, 45, 1404‒1408.
Spencer, J., Blackmore, D., Heard, S., McCrorie, P., McHaffie, D., Scherpbier, A., . . . Southgate, L. (2000). Patient-oriented learning: A review of the role of the patient in the education of medical students. Medical Education, 34, 851‒857.
Stacy, R., & Spencer, J. (1999). Patients as teachers: A qualitative study of patients’ views on their role in a community-based undergraduate project. Medical Education, 33, 688‒694.
Stewart, T., & Alford, C. (2006). Introduction: Older adults in medical education—senior mentor programs in U.S. medical schools. Gerontology & Geriatrics Education, 27(2), 3‒10.
Stillman, P. L., Sabers, D. L., & Redfield, D. L. (1976). The use of paraprofessionals to teach interviewing skills. Pediatrics, 57(5), 769‒774.
Stillman, P. L., Sabers, D. L., & Redfield, D. L. (1977). Use of trained mothers to teach interviewing skills to first-year medical students: A follow-up study. Pediatrics, 60(2), 165‒169.
Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Thistlethwaite, J. E., & Cockayne, E. A. (2004). Early student‒patient interactions: The views of patients regarding their experiences. Medical Teacher, 26(5), 420‒422.
Towle, A., Bainbridge, L., Godolphin, W., Katz, A., Kline, C., Lown, B., . . . Thistlethwaite, J. (2010). Active patient involvement in the education of health professionals. Medical Education, 44, 64‒74.
Towle, A., & Godolphin, W. (2013). Patients as educators: Interprofessional learning for patient-centred care. Medical Teacher, 35, 219‒225.
Tracy, J., & Iacono, T. (2008). People with developmental disabilities teaching medical students: Does it make a difference? Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 33(4), 345‒348.
Wykurz, G., & Kelly, D. (2002). Developing the role of patients as teachers: Literature review. British Medical Journal, 35, 818‒821.
- There are currently no refbacks.