1:05 - 2:05 pmSaturday, September 28
Upper Lobby
MD diabetes: a peer-designed course for medical students simulating a month-long diagnosis of insulin-dependent diabetes
Upper Lobby
MD diabetes: a peer-designed course for medical students simulating a month-long diagnosis of insulin-dependent diabetes
Medical Student, OHSU
BackgroundWe designed a ten-week elective course for OHSU medical students using diabetes as a prototype illness and focal point for our experiential, patient-centered learning model.The goal of this... Read more

Description

Background

We designed a ten-week elective course for OHSU medical students using diabetes as a prototype illness and focal point for our experiential, patient-centered learning model.

The goal of this pilot course was to provide future physicians with an understanding of how diabetes – as an illness and not just as a pathological disease – can affect patients’ lives on a day-to-day basis and how technology can impact the experience of being a patient. By the end of the course, our goal was that participants understood the magnitude of lifestyle change required of chronically ill patients to maintain their health as well as understanding the variety of financial and behavioral mediators that impact health decisions. Our hope is that this program will incite future physicians to be more resourceful, empathetic, and patient-centric caretakers of their chronically ill patients.

Methods

10 first-year medical students were selected at random from a list of first-year applicants at OHSU School of Medicine. The course duration was ten weeks, beginning with a three-week educational period addressing the fundamentals of carbohydrate counting, basic injection protocol, glucose testing, and acute emergencies, followed by a 4-week simulated diabetes experience, 2 extended weeks of special topics, and a final week for reflection. The course began March 8 and concluded on May 17. During the four-week simulated diabetes experience, students monitored glucose levels, counted carbohydrates, administered insulin injections, and otherwise lived around the clock as if they had been diagnosed with 
insulin-dependent diabetes. A registered diabetes educator taught the initial three-week training period. The course was hosted by the Harold Schnitzer Diabetes Center in Oregon Health and Science University Hospital.

Participants utilized blogging, Facebook, Myfitnesspal, and other web 2.0 technologies to enhance dialogue of challenges faced and lessons learned with other participants throughout the course. All course objectives and materials were posted to the course blog: mdiabetes.wordpress.com. Students posted responses to assigned weekly questions on the MDiabetes Facebook page in the format of written posts, video blogs, or photo documentation of their experiences. Myfitnesspal was used to document carbohydrate intake and exercise. Evaluations were administered to participants at baseline, each week throughout, and after the total ten-week course to measure practical knowledge gained as well as to collect qualitative data regarding students’ overall experience. At the end of the course each student participated in a 10-20 minute interview regarding their experiences in the course, whether and how their understandings of chronic illness had evolved or not, and recommendations to improve the course for the following year.

We will measure the effectiveness of our methods by coding participant Facebook posts using the social presence arm of the Community of Inquiry (Col) framework, a well validated methodology for analyzing higher education online learning. End-ofcourse interviews will be qualitatively analyzed for themes of discussion.

Results

Results pending.

Discussion

Discussion pending.

 

Heather Alva is a medical student at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon. She graduated from Stanford in 2010 and spent a year working for a nonprofit in hepatitis b prevention through Stanford’s Department of Surgery before joining Larry Chu’s team as a member of the Anesthesia Informatics and Media Lab as conference coordinator for the 2011 Medicine X Summit. As a type 1 diabetic of over 15 years, she is passionate about bridging gaps between patients and physicians to improve the practice of patient-centric medicine. She hopes to one day practice endocrinology.

 

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