IMPACT OF CLINICAL SKILL LAB ON STUDENTS’ LEARNING IN PRECLINICAL YEARS
AbstractBackground: As 1st year students have no prior training in handling and facing patients, Clinical SkillLab (CSL) is the most suitable place to avoid direct doctor/patient interaction. The objective of this studywas to evaluate the performance of recently established CSL and its impact on student learning in basicscience subjects. Methodology: This study was carried out at the Departments of Physiology andMedical Education, Foundation University Medical College Islamabad, from January to October 2012.In this observational study, 150 of 1st year students were divided into 5 batches. Each batch attendedclinical skill lab once a week. Each batch was subdivided into 6 batches of 5 students each to befacilitated by one postgraduate trainee from clinical subjects. Overall supervision was done by aconsultant of status of Assistant Professor qualified to teach Medicine, Surgery and/or Physiology.Sessions were conducted for 2 hours daily (6 days a week) in which after an initial briefing, studentswere taught the communication skills, clinical skills and art of history taking and physical examination.Clinical integration of various modules taught in 1st year, i.e., skin, muscle and skeletal system (SMS),upper limb and breast, immunity and haematology, respiratory and cardiovascular modules was donefrom January to October 2012. Methods of teaching involved large group interactive sessions, smallgroup interactive sessions, self-directed learning, tutorials, revision on computer and recordings ofsessions given to students on flashes. Multiple choice questions and observed structured clinicalexamination were the main assessment tools. Combined assessment of 2 consecutive modules was doneat the end of 2nd module making a total of 3 assessments for 1st year. Absentees were included in failuresin view of impact of end of modules examinations on overall final assessment. Results: More than 73%students passed examination of clinical skills securing more than 50% marks in each module. Overallimpact of CSL was also seen in the subjects of Anatomy and Physiology. Result of purely anatomy SMSand breast modules increased from 64% (year 2011 class) to 79% (year 2012 class). Result of purelyPhysiology modules (Immunity and Haematology) increased from 77% (year 2011 class) to 94% (year2012 class). Similarly Respiratory and Cardiovascular modules result improved from 68% to 90.5%.Conclusion: The performance of CSL in imparting clinical skills, communication skills, history takingand physical examination was satisfactory. The experience of integrating clinical teaching with basicsciences not only improved students’ clinical experience reflected by evaluation, but was also rewardingin improving the results of various modules related to anatomy and physiology.Keywords: Clinical skill lab, Module, Integration, Curriculum, Medical Education, Physiology teaching
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