Poster Presentations

P-18: (Teach Me About the) ...Baby One More Time: Student Perceptions of Paediatrics Learning Opportunities in Preclerkship

Sarah Peters

McMaster University
Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine

Topic: Education

Opportunities for Paediatrics-specific education are distributed throughout the Preclerkship curriculum in case-based tutorials, Professional Competencies, and Clinical Skills, while the bulk of hands-on learning occurs during the Clerkship core rotation. Children and their caretakers perceive medical students as part of the healthcare team, so it is important for students to feel adequately prepared and competent in clinical settings. The objectives of this project include:

  1. To quantify student perceptions of Paediatrics-specific learning opportunities in Preclerkship;
  2. To quantify student, Resident, and Staff perceptions of (a) skills that are important for the Clerkship Paediatrics core rotation; and (b) student skill competency;
  3. To propose skill-specific additions to the Preclerkship or Clerkship curriculums.

An anonymous survey was made available to students from the classes of 2018, 2019, and 2020. The survey used a Likert scale to assess student perceptions of Paediatrics learning opportunities in case-based tutorials, Professional Competencies, and Clinical Skills. Students also assessed the importance of, and their confidence in, a variety of skills drawn from the CanUC-Paeds National Curriculum guidelines. Finally, students had the opportunity to provide verbal feedback on their Paediatric education experience.

Preliminary results revealed that:

  1. Preclerks feel there is insufficient Paediatrics coverage in Clinical Skills, and that Paediatrics exposure is important and will improve performance in Clerkship;
  2. Clerks wish they had more Paediatrics learning opportunities in Preclerkship;
  3. Students from all 3 years have high perceived importance, but low perceived competence, of some skills (including approach to growth problems, approach to rash, and understanding of legal obligations in practice).

These preliminary results suggest that, regardless of intended discipline, students feel that more Paediatrics education opportunities - especially in Clinical Skills - would improve their competence and performance during the Clerkship Paediatrics core rotation. Going forward, an analogous survey will be disseminated to supervising Residents and Staff to compare perceptions of student skill competency between Clerks and their preceptors. When complete, a final report will be compiled to provide specific suggestions for curriculum improvement based on student feedback and experience.