The Shared Discovery Curriculum promises dramatic changes in the way medical students are educated here at the College of Human Medicine. In preparation for these changes, students and faculty have been participating in pilot tests of various aspects of the curriculum, continuing a tradition of pilot testing that began in 2013.
A pilot test or pilot program is a small-scale, short-term effort designed to provide data about the feasibility of the program before it is implemented on a large scale—in a sense, an educational simulation. Pilot tests of this kind are
surprisingly uncommon in medical school curricula. The pilot tests give faculty a chance to consider how to best achieve the learning objectives, the pre-session learning resources needed by students and how to structure the session
to engage first year students—who have a limited background in necessary science—in inquiry-based educational approaches. The pilot tests also provide us with time to reflect on required faculty prep time; resources required for
faculty preparation; and the group process skills needed by faculty to achieve the learning goals.
In the summer of 2013, CHM pilot tested some elements of what would become the Shared Discovery Curriculum. We, as a faculty, learned much about the intentional and unintentional outcomes, both positive and negative. The experience went on to shape our thinking about the Shared Discovery Curriculum. Dianne Wagner was one of the faculty involved in the design of the pilot test and participated as a small group leader in the pilot test. Her reflections about the experience, titled Trust Worthy, were published about a year ago in the JAMA feature called A Piece of My Mind. After reading her reflection, you can see how The Academy came to be a key piece of our new curriculum.
The 2013 pilot test of various teaching methods was crucial in informing the development of the Shared Discovery Curriculum as it is now conceived. A poster evaluating the pilot test is available for downloading. Objectives and Findings of the 2013 Early Clinical Experience (ECE) Pilot are available.
Pilot testing continues as we prepare for the 2016 Fall Semester launch of the Shared Discovery Curriculum.
Pilot Testing: Curricular Methods
December 16, 2015
Dr. Sathyan Sudhanthar was the instructor for this modified Problem-Based Learning session dealing with Joint Pain. Prior to the experience, students received a course packet which included the learning objectives, lists of resources, and homework assignments designed to prepare them for the experience. The video recording of the session, feedback from faculty who designed and delivered the session, as well qualitative and quantitative feedback from the students who participated was collated and analyzed.
January 14, 2016
Another PBL session, this time on abdominal pain, was held on January 14, led by Dr. Angela Busch, with Dr. Anthony Paganini attending in the role of Basic Scientist. Students were given a course packet to study in advance which contained the learning objectives and lists of resources for this topic. The event was videotaped, and the students took a post session quiz and completed a survey, all of which provided data for analysis.
January 26, 2016 and February 1, 2016
The Piloteers gathered for four hours to learn interactional skills for interviewing patients from Dr. Jon Gold, and how to perform a blood pressure exam using blood pressure kits and stethoscopes from Dr. Sathyan Sudhanthar. The session was videotaped so students could review it prior to the February 1st practice session in the Clinical Skills Teaching Area (CSTA) where they tested their newly learned skills on simulated patients. The patients rated the students’ performance and Drs. Gold and Sudhanthar observed and took notes in order to provide feedback to the students.
February 9, 2016
For this modified PBL session on blood pressure, students did not receive a course packet document; all of their homework assignments associated with the Preparatory Independent Learning and the Post-Clinic Group 1, as well as reading materials for the PCG 1 were available online in Just In Time Medicine (JIT). The 2 hour session was led by Drs. Patricia Brewer and Sathyan Sudhanthar who used JIT exclusively to present information. Following the session, Nichole Frattaroli conducted a focus group with the piloteers to gather information on their reaction to JIT as a learning tool.
March 2, 2016
Dr. Gary Ferenchick instructed the students on how to use their personal electronic device, such as smart phone, laptop, iPad, etc., as a way to access their personal portfolio in JIT. Dr. Jon Gold trained students to perform medication reconciliation in preparation for real and simulated clinical settings through a combination of didactics and practice with feedback.
March 4, 2016
The Piloteers participated in two activities on this date. The medication reconciliation session was held in the CSTA, with each student performing a vitals sign physical and interviewing a standardized patient. Each student had their own patient. The patients rated the students’ performance on a score sheet after their interaction. Then, in the Internal Medicine clinic of the MSU Clinical Center, each student performed a blood pressure test which was observed by a clinic Medical Assistant (MA) who keyed their assessment of the student’s performance directly into the student’s JIT portfolio, using the student’s smart phone, laptop, or other electronic device. The MAs were later interviewed by Dr. Ferenchick, who was pleased that all of the MAs had favorable reactions to using JIT as recording tool for student performance, with no glitches reported.
March 31, 2016
A debriefing session was held for the students who participated in the Medication Reconciliation activity during which they interviewed a standardized patient. In spite of the less than optimum length of time between the actual interviews and this small group session, Dr. Gold was impressed that the students were able to remember their patients clearly or refer to their notes. The goals of making basic science and clinical connections as well as discussing ethics, SCCD and other issues were met during this productive one hour meeting.
April 8, 2016
During this two hour session led by Nichole Frattaroli the students will be assessing JIT dashboards.
Dr. Colleen Bush will lead a pilot of the Middle Clinical Experience Emergency Department experience in Grand Rapids.
Pilot Testing: Assessment Methods
Student Competence Committee Process
The competence review pilot team includes Learning Society chiefs and members of the academic achievement team.
Progress Clinical Skills Exam
Piloting will continue through August with current College of Human Medicine (CHM) students.
SCRIPT Competency Milestones
CHM administration and faculty are working to ensure current progress check points will ensure students meet expectations based on the SCRIPT competencies and other national frameworks (AAMC and ACGME).
Ongoing piloting is occurring with current students and interns.
Questions or comments about the Pilot Testing can be directed to: SDC Questions: Pilot Testing