P-20: “I know the issues, but what can I do about them?”: A needs assessment of teaching and learning about how to address health inequalities in the McMaster Medical School Clinical Skills Curriculum
Mr. Talveer Mandur
Faculty of Health Services
Physicians have extensive contact with diverse patient populations and must be comfortable and competent in working with them. We sought to understand if McMaster Medical School is equipping future physicians with the skills necessary to provide care for diverse and marginalized population by conducting a needs assessment of the McMaster Medicine’s Clinical Skills Curriculum.
We conducted an online survey of current McMaster undergraduate medical students at all three campuses. Students indicated their perceived level of competency with performing history and physical exams on patients with different dimensions of diversity, whether these had been addressed in clinical skills, and the areas of diversity they most want to see the program prioritize. These three dimensions were assessed on a Likert scale from 1 to 7. The ratings were averaged to compare mean values. Additionally, a portion of the survey asked qualitative questions oriented around suggestions for improvements to the clinical skills program; these were analyzed using a thematic-driven approach in Excel.
73 students from all three years of the program completed the survey.The areas identified as teaching and patient care priorities, based on both quantitative and qualitative analysis of survey data, were transgender and intersex patients, racialized and culturally diverse patients, patients with different abilities, and patients of different adiposity levels. Suggestions were made to increase the diversity in the standardized patient program, increase experiential learning, and focus on preceptor training.
This needs assessment identified a gap in the clinical skills curriculum which can impact students' future ability to engage and work with diverse populations. These results have led to the development of Key Recommendations, which are being discussed with key stakeholders, and will be used to implement changes to the clinical skills curriculum.