What Students are Saying: Tips to Maximize Learning

In this episode, Drs. Bierman and Vasilakis share their insights into the student experience of using Aquifer and provide tips and guidance for faculty to improve engagement and help students maximize the learning with Aquifer cases.

Full show notes are available here.

Generating Meaningful Discussions about SDOH with Aquifer Cases

Creating opportunities for meaningful discussion around Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) can be challenging for health professions educators. In this episode, Regina Welkie and Emily McSparin describe how they were able to successfully integrate SDOH into a clinical curriculum by incorporating Aquifer cases into a journal club format. The Aquifer cases give students a shared experience and provide a springboard for a broader small group discussion about SDOH concepts they have experienced during clinical rotations. This approach resulted in deep, authentic conversations between students and faculty around the real impacts of SDOH on patient care.

Full show notes can be found here.

Episode 15: Addressing a Critical Gap: Standardizing Primary Palliative Care Education with New Cases

Guest: April Zehm, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Oncology) at the Medical College of Wisconsin specializing in hospice and palliative medicine and Aquifer Palliative Care Leadership Team Co-Academic Lead.

Foundational skills in communication, symptom management, transitions of care, and interprofessional collaborations are critical in improving the quality of life of patients with serious illnesses–but most health professions students don’t receive standardized education in these key principles of primary palliative care. In this episode, Dr. April Zehm describes the Aquifer Palliative Care Leadership team’s creation of a national standardized curriculum and soon-to-be available online palliative care course focused on preparing students to provide high quality patient-centered care. She will also discuss how faculty can integrate course resources into their pre-clinical and clinical teaching.

Full show notes can be found here.

Integrating Telemedicine Into Medical Education

Guest: Amit Pahwa, MD, Director, Internal Medicine Sub-Internship, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Associate Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Editor-in-Chief, Aquifer Foundations of Telemedicine

Description:​ In this episode, Dr. Amit Pahwa discusses the development of Aquifer’s new Foundations of Telemedicine course, which is freely available to all teachers and students. Dr. Pahwa talks about the genesis of the courses, how to integrate the courses into your curriculum, how the cases fit different needs of students, and how faculty members can use the cases in their instruction. Due to the rise in the use of telemedicine across all disciplines, these courses are of great importance to all medical professions students. The cases align with the AAMC’s Competencies for Telemedicine.

Full show notes can be found here.

Integrated Illness Scripts – Linking Basic Science Concepts to Patient Care

Guest: Leah Sheridan, PhD Professor of Physiology, Ohio Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and Sciences Lead, Aquifer Sciences Course Board

Engaging medical students in mastering essential basic science concepts can be challenging if they don’t understand how or why they are relevant to caring for patients. Aquifer’s Integrated Illness Scripts provide learners the “why” by explicitly connecting clinical features with the science mechanism, laying the groundwork for providing excellent patient care. In this episode, Dr. Leah Sheridan shares why she is such an enthusiastic proponent of teaching with integrated illness scripts and describes how you can incorporate them into teaching pre-clinical and clinical learners.

Full show notes can be found here.

Remediation & Targeted Skills Development with Aquifer

Guest: Jaime Bowman MD, Clinical Education Director of Family Medicine, Washington State University’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine.

Dr. Jaime Bowman shares how she supports students in need of remediation or targeted skills development through an individualized approach. She finds that Aquifer cases provide an ideal low-stakes environment for allowing learners to practice skills, try new things, and build confidence in an accessible and safe space. Dr. Bowman applies her framework to help students who need to catch up, advance their skills, return from family or personal leave, or take an alternative pathway through their education. The breadth of cases available in Aquifer’s Content Library provide a rich opportunity for customizing learning plans and assignments to meet learners where they are and addressing specific gaps in knowledge or skills, customizing assignments by clinical location, patient age, condition, or clinical focus.

Full show notes can be found here.

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.

Assessing Clinical Decision Making with Aquifer’s Internal Medicine Exam

Guest: Valerie Lang, Associate Professor of Medicine, Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, and Academic Director of Assessment of Clinical Decision Making, Aquifer.

Dr. Valerie Lang was instrumental in the development and validation of the Aquifer Internal Medicine Clinical Decision Making Exam, which assesses learners’ clinical reasoning and decision making and is free to subscribers of Aquifer’s Internal Medicine course. In this podcast, Dr. Lang explains why the exam was developed and the benefits of integrating it into an overall assessment program to achieve a more comprehensive picture of students’ clinical competence.

Full show notes can be found here.

Easing the Transition from Pre-Clinical to Clinical Learning

Guest: Traci Marquis-Eydman, Associate Professor & Director of the Maine Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship | Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University

​In this episode Dr. Traci Marquis-Eydman describes the benefits of using a hybrid approach to orienting students as they begin their clinical learning phase. The transition to clinical learning is always challenging, as students must not only shift to applying knowledge in busy clinical settings, but they must also develop as professionals, thinking and acting as vital and responsible healthcare team members. When COVID learning disruptions exacerbated the challenges of this transition by limiting student and faculty ability to interact face-to-face, Traci developed a hybrid orientation that incorporated online delivery of essential content using Aquifer cases and optimization of in-person time for team building and learning sessions requiring face-to-face interaction and participation. On completion of the course students rated the course positively, felt more prepared for the wards and clinical reasoning, and got to know faculty and staff more than in previous years.

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.

Teaching and Assessing SOAP Note Skills with Pre-Clinical Students

Guest: Ronda Mourad, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cleveland, OH.

Teaching and evaluating pre-clinical students’ SOAP notes with some consistency across different clinical settings and preceptors can be challenging. In this episode Ronda Mourad, MD describes how she uses Aquifer cases to standardize the processes of both teaching and assessing this critical skill. Through using the cases Ronda is pleased to find that not only is the playing field and feedback for students more level, but it’s more robust as well, and she can widen her pool of assessors to include junior faculty and advanced students.

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.