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   Table of Contents - Current issue
May-August 2020
Volume 3 | Issue 2
Page Nos. 43-85

Online since Monday, July 27, 2020

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It's time to abolish class rankings in medical education! p. 43
Kenneth D Royal
Class rank is a commonly used measure to differentiate talent for potential selection in postgraduate training programs (e.g., medical residency, internship, etc.). However, class ranking is a norm-referenced approach in which students are assessed relative to the performance of their peers. This is in juxtaposition to competency-based/standards-based education which is the norm for most all medical training programs. Further, the education literature has repeatedly articulated reasons why differentiating students based on class rank is both inappropriate and detrimental to student learning. Thus, the purpose of this article is to argue for the abolishment of class ranking across all medical and health professions programs.
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SAVMA virtual white coating and graduation tool kit p. 45
Laura Venner, Ashley N Miller, Jessi Coryell, Marie Bucko, Jackie Ross, Derrick Hall
This is a guide that may be used by student leadership of SAVMA veterinary colleges to initiate a conversation on conducting a White Coat and/or Graduation Ceremony online for veterinary students scheduled to receive their White Coats or Graduate during the COVID-19 pandemic. The safety and health of students, families, faculty, and staff are paramount during this incredibly difficult and precarious time. However, we feel that it is important to take time to recognize the time, dedication, and emotional strength it took for students to reach these points in their veterinary careers. We hope that providing an easy toolkit that explains how this can be done effectively will encourage administrations to host a virtual event to honor students.
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The impact of a radiological anatomy-based intervention in a gross anatomy course for undergraduate medical students p. 47
Roxanne J Larsen, Deborah L Engle
Background: The integration of radiology into undergraduate medical education is becoming a popular method of providing early and meaningful clinical experiences. Aims and Objectives: The primary aim of our educational intervention was to provide increased radiologic anatomy resources and support to medical students in their first-year preclinical medical school curriculum. An additional objective was to evaluate how the intervention impacted learners through a pretest/posttest protocol and traditional student feedback questionnaires. Method: Two cohorts of first-year medical students voluntarily participated in an assessment of the intervention that required the identification of anatomical structures in radiological images. Changes in learning gain and aggregate scores were calculated, and students' perceptions of the intervention were assessed through open feedback and Likert-style questions at the end of the course. Results: The results revealed a significant increase (P < 0.0001) in absolute learning gain (25.6%–33.1% higher scores) for both cohorts when comparing pretest and posttest responses. Statistical differences (P < 0.05) were found between cohorts in the pretest responses associated with questions on the thorax and those that were based on X-rays and in posttest responses associated with questions at the cognitive level of understanding. Conclusion: This study adds to the growing area of research supporting the integration of early meaningful clinical experiences into undergraduate medical school curricula, especially those that include radiology as a mechanism to connect preclinical courses with clinical training and experience.
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Veterinary student experiences in a community- and competency-based primary care rotation: A case study p. 54
M Katie Sheats, Traci Temple, Dan Spencer
Background: Over the past 10–20 years, health professions' education has increasingly utilized community-based models of distributive medical education (CBDME) and competency-based education (CBE) frameworks. Although programs combining CBDME and CBE have reported enhanced student education and professional development outcomes, health professions' educators have also noted challenges integrating these frameworks, including vague university expectations regarding student performance, issues balancing efficiency with student learning in the private practice environment, lack of private practitioner training in pedagogy, and limited university faculty involvement in community-based clinical training of students. Aims and Objectives: The current paper describes the efforts of one veterinary school to refine a 4-week community-based primary care clinical rotation. The 2-year project aimed (1) to incorporate tracked competencies, improve preceptor training, and enhance involvement of university faculty through online student learning (Year 1) and (2) to use focus groups to solicit students' feedback on the course (Year 2). Settings and Design: Descriptive and Case-study. Methods and Material: Focus group, semi-structured interview. Statistical Analysis Used: Content analysis method of qualitative data, open and axial coding. Results: Compared to other “hospital rotations”, students reported that the CBDVE-equine primary care course gave them more opportunity to voice their professional opinions, determine course(s) of treatment, and discuss concerns/questions regarding case management. CBE helped students distinguish between competencies they had completed themselves versus procedures they had only been able to observe. The technology meant to support competency tracking in the field presented significant challenges to the student learning experience, including lack of internet access in remote locations, concerns regarding use of technology and appearance of professionalism, and redundancy of competency documentation. Conclusions: Veterinary student perceptions towards CBE and CBDVE are positive. Incorporating technology to track clinical competencies and support student learning during distributed clinical training requires an iterative process of feedback and negotiation with stakeholders, including students, university faculty, and private practice partners. The project approach and study findings described will be of interest to health professions educators who participate in, or plan to use, competency- and/or community-based models of education.
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Serious gaming as an active method of learning applied antibiotherapy in swine veterinary medicine p. 63
Perle Emilie Zhitnitskiy
Background: Serious games have been increasing in popularity within health sciences education. Games can improve learning by increasing students' engagement and by developing their analytical, critical thinking, and teamwork skills. Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a board game to teach applied swine antibiotherapy to veterinary students in their clinical year. Methods: Students were quizzed pre- and postclass to evaluate their knowledge retention. An anonymous seven-question survey was given to the students at the end of class to assess their satisfaction with the board game. Results: Students' quiz scores increased by 1.34 points on average between the beginning and end of class (P = 0.03). Students unanimously enjoyed playing the board game and recommended that it continued to be used in the next iteration of the course. Discussion: Using serious gaming proved to be an enjoyable method of reviewing antibiotherapy and applying it to swine clinical cases in this population of veterinary students. Implementing serious gaming in health sciences education requires a time investment for preparation but provides a richer experience for students and faculty alike.
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Identification of student lifestyle characteristics associated with training choices to drive targeted admissions in veterinary medicine p. 70
Margaret V. Root Kustritz, Erin Malone, Aaron Rendahl
Background: There is an identified need for practicing veterinarians with a focus on food animal work in the United States. Students at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine track by species (food animal, equine, mixed, and small animal) or discipline (research) in the latter part of their training. Identification of life experiences that are associated with students choosing the food animal track would permit the college to better target admissions to meet societal needs. Aims and Objectives: To identify lifestyle characteristics and activities associated with choice of the food animal track and to evaluate how student choice of track varies across their training. Materials and Methods: Students from three consecutive classes were surveyed to identify factors influencing track choice. Fisher's test was used to compare data and Clopper–Pearson “exact” confidence intervals computed. Results: Students who declared interest in the 1st year in small animal, equine, or food animal as a track were highly likely to choose that at their final track later in the curriculum. Eightyfive percent of students in a food animalfocused early admission track chose the food animal track; the remainder chose the mixed track with cattle as one of their species of interest. Students were more likely to choose the food animal track if their undergraduate major was animal science, if they grew up in a rural area, lived on a farm, were in 4H or were in Future Farmers of America, or had shown or worked horses or cattle, or shadowed a large animal veterinarian. Students valued mentoring from within the college and from outside veterinarians. Conclusions: Knowledge of how students choose their tracks will permit the college better to promote admissions of students who are more likely to track food animal and to plan for adequate clinical year experiences for all students.
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Early clinical exposure during medical school: Omani medical students and interns experience p. 77
Tariq Al-Saadi, Ali Al-Sharqi, Al-Salt Al Kharosi, Malik Alshaqsi, Mattar Al Badi, Taha Al-Kalbani
Introduction: Early clinical exposure (ECE) is a teaching learning methodology, which fosters the exposure of the medical students to the patients as early as the 1st year of medical college. A hospital-based educational system provides the exposure to the clinical environment by direct contact with patients, including bedside teaching and applying skills and knowledge. Aim: evaluate the impact of ECE of Omani medical students on their attitude, knowledge, and skills. Methods: A cross-sectional study. A designed questionnaire was sent to more than 500 Omani medical students in Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and National University (NU). The questionnaire consists two sections. The first section included personal demographic information. The second part included questions to evaluate the quantity and quality of ECE and questions directed toward knowing the current perception of Omani students toward the importance of ECE in terms of developing knowledge and skills. Fifteen questions were asked in the questionnaire. Results: There were a total number of 191 students who participated in this study with a response rate of 44%. The vast majority of them were females represented 73.8. Nearly 63.4% were from SQU and 31.8% were from NU. Sixty-eight percent of the participants are in their 5th, 6th, 7th year, intern, and postintern academic status. There is a significant relationship between getting clinical exposure during preclinical years and fast adaptation in early clinical years with P < 0.05. Conclusion: ECE is a vital part of the preclinical curriculum and should be further enhanced by creating more opportunities to receive clinical and practical training in hospitals.
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What impact does the use of mean versus median statistics have on student grading? p. 82
Kenneth D Royal, Erika Cretton Scott, Terri M Wensel
The decision to calculate students' grades using a mean or a median statistic is an important consideration for educators. However, the choice of which statistic is used could have a significant impact on students' grades. Using real data from a preclinical course at a large pharmacy school in the United States, students' grades on five examinations were calculated using both mean and median statistics. With respect to grade performance, 84 (61.3%) students would have received a score increase if using the median statistic to calculate grades, whereas 53 (38.7%) students would have received a score decrease if using the median statistic. Letter grades for the course would also vary for some students depending on which statistic was used to calculate grades. The choice of using a mean or a median statistic can have a considerable effect on student grading. We encourage other educators to examine the influence of mean versus median statistics may have on grade calculations and select the statistic that will lead to the most valid indicator of student performance.
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The utility of Telegram® in online problem-based learning during COVID-19 pandemic p. 85
Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, Mona Hmoud AlSheikh
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