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The Aquifer Educator Connection Podcast brings you insights and practical tips about how expert health professions educators are using Aquifer’s virtual patient cases and resources to enrich learning. Join Dr. Lynne Robins as she talks to expert educators about how they incorporate Aquifer’s award winning e-Learning platform into their curricula to maximize student learning, provide tips and insights into getting the most out of the resources available to educators and students, and learn about best practices in using Aquifer.

Episodes

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.

Aquifer Cases as Standardized Patients

Guest: Sherilyn Smith, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine and Chief Academic Officer, Aquifer.

Description:​ ​ In this episode, Dr. Sherilyn Smith shares tips for how to think of Aquifer cases in your curriculum as standardized patients, using them as the basis for active learning sessions, and how this paradigm shift can accelerate the development of clinical reasoning skills with pre-clinical and clinical medical students.

Full show notes can be found here.

Supporting Residents as Teachers and Learners with Aquifer Cases

Guest: Michael Dell, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Vice Chair for Education at Case Western Reserve University SOM and a pediatrician at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. Aquifer Pediatrics – Senior Director & Case Author.

Dr. Dell is an enthusiastic proponent of using virtual cases across the continuum of medical education, including with advanced learners like residents and interns. In this episode, Dr. Dell describes how he incorporates cases into his Residents as Teachers Curriculum, replacing lectures with noon conferences.  In their flipped classroom model, residents run the conference like rounds leading a discussion about an Aquifer case framed as the ‘virtual patient you admitted the night before’ and incorporating rich what- if and compare and contrast scenarios.  Dr. Dell also shares a successful collaboration with residents to create a case-based orientation curriculum for acting interns that eased their transition to the hospital setting. The curriculum included instruction about essential content as well as practical tips on how to get things done in the hospital.

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.

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.

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