Preseason Pediatrics: an Interactive Preclinical Curriculum Enhances Knowledge and Skills in Medical Students
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Medical students have limited preclinical exposure to pediatrics. We created an optional preclinical curriculum for first-year medical students called “Preseason Pediatrics” (PSP). This 6-month curriculum teaches pediatric-specific knowledge and clinical skills, consisting of monthly resident-led didactic sessions followed by complementary resident-mentored clinical experiences.
Participants completed a survey before and after completion of PSP. Knowledge was assessed with multiple-choice questions pertaining to each topic covered in PSP and perceived skills, with a 5-point Likert scale ranging from not at all (1) to extremely (5) for skills taught. Skill maintenance was assessed with a newborn objective structured clinical exam (OSCE) 6 months after PSP completion in 2016. Students beginning their pediatric clerkship also completed a survey, comparing students who did and did not complete PSP.
From 2014 to 2017, 135 first-year medical students participated. Percent correct scores on pediatric knowledge increased in 4/5 topics covered, and students perceived increases in their pediatric skills in all course domains. 86.8% (n = 92/106) of students reported feeling more prepared for the pediatric clerkship. 94.3% (n = 100/106) would recommend the PSP experience to other students. Third-year students who participated in PSP reported higher comfort with pediatric patients prior to their clerkship.
PSP is a successful novel preclinical program introducing students to pediatrics. We demonstrated that didactics paired with resident-mentored clinical experiences improved pediatric knowledge, clinical-based skills, and perceived clerkship preparedness. Students may academically and professionally benefit from such earlier exposure to pediatrics.
KeywordsPediatrics Undergraduate medical education Preclinical
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Ethical Approval/Informed Consent
This study was determined to be exempt by the IRB at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, NY, as it was an assessment of an ongoing educational curriculum.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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