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QCCA
Reducing the distance between learners: eConferences to standardize learning on clinical rotations
QCCA
Reducing the distance between learners: eConferences to standardize learning on clinical rotations
Touro University
Background: Undergraduate medical education is increasingly reliant on community sites to provide clinical experiences. This presents some fundamental problems for students rotating at remote sites: variability... Read more

Description

Background: Undergraduate medical education is increasingly reliant on community sites to provide clinical experiences. This presents some fundamental problems for students rotating at remote sites: variability in educational activities, and separation from campus and peers. At our institution, this led to the development of weekly small group conferences similar to traditional morning report with one exception: most students participate online from their community rotation sites.

Objective: We hypothesized that students’ feel the online conferences help refine their patient presentation and differential diagnosis, and maintain a beneficial connection with their peers and campus.

Design/Methods: 135 medical students were surveyed after the completion of their clinical rotations. Student shelf exam scores in Pediatrics were recorded to determine any differences between students who participated in person versus online.

Results: 89 students (66%) responded with 65% of respondents having participated remotely from their community site. Most respondents agreed that the conferences helped them feel connected to campus (64%) and their peers (66%). Respondents felt the strongest aspect was helping with the development of a differential diagnosis (80% responded that the conferences helped fairly/very well in this regard). Of 34 students who attended remotely and reported having also participated in a live morning report style conference, 88% felt that the online conferences provided an equal educational benefit to live conferences. Shelf examination scores did not differ between students who attended in person (80.76±4.34) or remotely (80.82±6.23, p = 0.965).

Conclusions: Students feel that interactive weekly online conferences help with their development of a differential diagnosis. Most students also feel that the conferences help them connect with their campus and peers. The educational impact of web-based conferences is felt to be similar to live morning report style conferences, and participating in conferences remotely does not appear to affect shelf exam performance compared with attending in person.

 

Born and raised in California, I went to college and medical school at University of California, San Diego before training in Pediatrics at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.  After my chief residency at CHLA, I joined the faculty at Touro University California, College of Osteopathic Medicine where I have been involved in the primary care of children as well as teaching medical students from matriculation to graduation.  At TUCCOM, I serve as Director of Distance Learning and Co-director of the Pediatrics clerkship.     

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