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A new method for teaching physical examination to junior medical students

Authors Sayma M, Williams H

Received 13 November 2015

Accepted for publication 23 December 2015

Published 18 February 2016 Volume 2016:7 Pages 91—97

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S100509

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Maria Olenick

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder


Meelad Sayma, Hywel Rhys Williams

Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, Plymouth, UK

Introduction: Teaching effective physical examination is a key component in the education of medical students. Preclinical medical students often have insufficient clinical knowledge to apply to physical examination recall, which may hinder their learning when taught through certain understanding-based models. This pilot project aimed to develop a method to teach physical examination to preclinical medical students using “core clinical cases”, overcoming the need for “rote” learning.
Methods: This project was developed utilizing three cycles of planning, action, and reflection. Thematic analysis of feedback was used to improve this model, and ensure it met student expectations.
Results and discussion: A model core clinical case developed in this project is described, with gout as the basis for a “foot and ankle” examination. Key limitations and difficulties encountered on implementation of this pilot are discussed for future users, including the difficulty encountered in “content overload”.
Conclusion: This approach aims to teach junior medical students physical examination through understanding, using a simulated patient environment. Robust research is now required to demonstrate efficacy and repeatability in the physical examination of other systems.

Keywords: physical examination, undergraduate, case-based approach

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