Harnessing Group Learning to Develop Clinical Reasoning Skills

Guest: Dolapo Babalola MD, Associate Professor of Family Medicine, Director, Family Medicine and Rural Health Clerkship, and Director, Family Medicine Undergraduate Medical Education at Morehouse School of Medicine.

In this episode, Dr. Dolapo Babalola shares her tips about how to run interactive group sessions that promote engagement with Aquifer cases and enhance students’ clinical reasoning skills. Before creating her model of facilitated case-based sessions, which incorporates role play and group learning, Dr. Babalola got complaints from students that Aquifer cases were just busy work. Now students in her family medicine clerkship report finding value in learning how to solve clinical problems collaboratively with peers. Clerkship directors have also commented on the high level of skill that students who have completed the family medicine clerkship bring to subsequent clinical experiences.

Full show notes can be found here.

Facilitated Discussions and Role Playing Using Standardized Cases

Guest: Kirstin Nackers, MD, Assistant Professor and Director of Pediatric Undergraduate Medical Education at University of Wisconsin-Madison

In this episode, Dr. Kirstin Nackers shares two examples of case-based instruction she uses to increase student engagement and promote learning in an integrated core clerkship combining Pediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynecology and Geriatrics. She describes the first example as a “COVID-induced improvement”, recalling that when COVID restrictions prevented students from learning about diagnosis and treatment of patients with fever in actual clinical contexts, she turned to Aquifer’s fever case to teach this core content. The lesson she learned was that using a single case enabled her to improve teaching sessions by developing a standardized discussion guide that faculty facilitators could use to focus interactive discussion and better ensure achievement of session learning objectives. The second way she uses cases is to develop role plays for a session designed to teach students about abuse, neglect, and mandated reporting. The goal of the session is not only to increase students’ knowledge about mandated reporting requirements – but to increase students’ comfort talking about those tough topics with patients. She has found that an engaging way to master communication skills is through practice with role play followed by structured debriefing.

Full show notes can be found here.

Engaging Learners through Teleprecepting

Guest: Cynthia (Cindy) Lord, PA-C, Associate Professor and Founding Director, Case Western Reserve University Physician Assistant Program, Cleveland, OH.

When the COVID pandemic severely limited student access to clinical teaching sites and preceptors, Cindy Lord developed a teleprecepting program to simulate traditional precepting during a rotation. Aquifer cases formed the basis of learner-centered virtual small group sessions facilitated by a telepreceptor. The sessions provided a means of achieving educational equivalence across teaching sites and instructors, filling curricular gaps, enhancing student learning, and afforded opportunities for the development of mentor/mentee relationships. The teleprecepting program proved so valuable that it is now a regular part of PA education at Case Western Reserve University.

Full show notes and links to supplemental materials can be found here.