Creating Advanced Compare and Contrast Learning with Aquifer Case Modifications

August 12, 2020 | Perspectives

In our Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship, students transitioned patient-based clinical learning from real patient to Aquifer cases in late March. These more advanced level clerks required that virtual cases have increased complexity to adequately challenge them and continue building their clinical skills. In order to meet these learning demands, Aquifer cases were introduced as written and then modified in preceptor lead discussions to encourage further clinical reasoning skill development.

Just-in-time Teaching: Connecting Didactics with Clinical Learning for Community Faculty

August 10, 2020 | Pearls

Our community faculty are busy clinicians in local health systems or private practice. At several points throughout the clerkship, we provide calendars with the didactic and Aquifer case schedule illustrating the clinical information students will cover on campus. We actively encourage preceptors to engage in discussion with their students about what was covered during these activities outside of their offices to the benefit of both students and preceptors.

Student feedback summary graphic

Providing Formative Feedback Via Summary Statements

July 16, 2020 | Perspectives

In many Aquifer cases, students are asked to write out a one to three sentence summary statement that mimics the communication skills they need on rounds, calling consults, and writing patient progress notes. Reviewing a selection of these statements provides an opportunity for faculty to provide meaningful, targeted feedback on clinical reasoning skills.

Filling a Gap: Creating an Elective on Tough Conversations & End of Life Care

July 8, 2020 | Perspectives

Medical schools have always worked hard to provide fourth-year students with clinical knowledge. But far less time is dedicated to effective, delicately nuanced conversations about diagnoses and prognoses with patients and their families. This gap isn’t new, but it’s being exacerbated by the pandemic. In response, we created an online elective dedicated entirely to learning, thinking about, and practicing these difficult communication skills.

Student Perspectives: Practical Tips for Assigning Cases

June 24, 2020 | Perspectives

Students provide consistently high rankings for Aquifer as reported in our five-star rating feedback data, but how and when cases are integrated into the curriculum can have a significant impact on their learning. Find out what themes emerged when we ask students what methods are most effective–and discover practical tips for assigning Aquifer cases based on student feedback.

Returning to Real Patients: Preparing with a Virtual Rotation

Returning to Real Patients: Preparing with a Virtual Rotation

June 2, 2020 | Perspectives

Like everyone else, our school needed to develop alternatives for our new fourth-year students due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With an uncertain return date for students at a range of clinical sites, we decided to build virtual, asynchronous electives that would help prepare students for their clinical rotations, and especially their Acting Internships. We leveraged a range of case-based online modules to cover different disciplines, including Aquifer and WISE.


Hospital Systems Learning: A Virtual Case-based Framework

May 12, 2020 | Perspectives

For those of us using virtual education time to prep students for eventual return to clinical settings, using an Aquifer case as a framework for an interactive orientation or hospital operations training session will better prepare students and interns to hit the ground running and take full advantage of rotations which, in many cases, have been shortened in duration.

Strategies for Flipping the Classroom with Aquifer

May 11, 2020 | Perspectives

Aquifer cases can form the basis for a huge variety of classroom sessions that can be easily adapted for virtual learning. Here are some ideas to spark your creativity if you are designing your own activity. Suggested strategies include…

A High-Value Care Course in the Era of COVID-19

April 27, 2020 | Perspectives

It may seem unusual to design and implement a medical student course focused on high-value care in the middle of a pandemic. As third and fourth-year medical students were pulled from clinical duties at the urging of the AAMC, educators at the University of Virginia School of Medicine developed a two-week online course. The course introduced students to an integrative, comprehensive model of high-value care applicable to future clinical practice.


Reframe: Aquifer Cases as Virtual Standardized Patients

April 23, 2020 | Perspectives

Many educators are wondering how to meaningfully engage their students in distance learning activities that create community and allow them to practice important patient care skills (while not seeing patients). While I have been doing peer-to-peer consults with educators around the country about using Aquifer cases in their curriculum, I stumbled into a helpful reframe that seems to be unlocking people’s creativity: Aquifer cases (yep…more than 170 of them!) are virtual standardized patients. Wait…what?