Enhancing medical student professionalism through Peer Physical Examination: preliminary results of a longitudinal study

Roche, Poornima, and Woolley, Torres (2013) Enhancing medical student professionalism through Peer Physical Examination: preliminary results of a longitudinal study. International Journal of Clinical Skills, 7 (5). pp. 84-89.

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Objectives: Empathy and clinical skills (CS) are important domains of medical professionalism. Many medical schools employ Peer Physical Examination (PPE) to improve CS. Empathy is a key attribute for providing quality health care, lying at the heart of patient-doctor relationships. Student empathy often declines over the medical course. This study evaluated if participation in PPE improved both students' CS and empathy levels.

Methods: A quasi-experimental design measured CS competency and changes in empathy levels of Year 2 students who participated in PPE in 2011, compared with those who did not (n = 213). Empathy was measured using the validated student version of the Jefferson Scale of Patient Empathy (JSPE), while CS competency was measured by end-of-year Multiple Station Assessment Task (MSAT) exam performance across communication and examination skills.

Results: Regular engagement by students in PPE during CS sessions throughout the year as an examinee was associated with less reduction in patient empathy scores during Year 2 (p = 0.033). Also, students who regularly engaged in PPE as an examiner after hours scored higher in the end of year MSAT exam for both the examination and communication skills component (p = 0.014 and p = 0.028, respectively) for the system tested in the MSAT exam.

Conclusion: Patient empathy and competency in clinical examination and communication skills were higher in Year 2 medical students who regularly participated in PPE as examinees and examiners, respectively. Thus, educational experiences can influence empathic attitudes as well as clinical competencies. These results have implications for medical school policy makers.

Item ID: 35350
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1753-044X
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2016 04:39
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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