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J Educ Eval Health Prof > Epub ahead of print
J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2020; 17: 17.
Published online May 27, 2020.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3352/jeehp.2020.17.17
[Epub ahead of print]
Voluntary assignments during the pediatric clerkship to enhance the clinical experiences of medical students in the United States
Conrad Krawiec1  , Abigail Kate Myers2 
1Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital, Hershey, PA, USA
2General Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Penn State Children's Hospital, Hershey, PA, USA
Correspondence  Conrad Krawiec ,Email: ckrawiec@pennstatehealth.psu.edu
Editor:  Sun Huh, Hallym University, Korea
Submitted: April 19, 2020  Accepted after revision: May 26, 2020
Abstract
Purpose
Pediatric clerkships that utilize off-campus clinical sites ensure clinical comparability by requiring completion of patient-focused tasks. Some tasks may not be attainable (especially off-campus); thus, they are not assigned. The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of providing a voluntary assignment list to third-year medical students in their pediatric clerkship.
Methods
This is a retrospective single-center cross-sectional analysis of voluntary assignment completion during the 2019–2020 academic year. Third-year medical students were provided a voluntary assignment list (observe a procedure, use an interpreter phone to obtain a pediatric history, ask a preceptor to critique a clinical note, and follow-up on a patient after the rotation ends). Descriptive statistics were used to assess the timing and distribution of voluntary assignment completion.
Results
In total, 132 subjects (77 on the main campus, 55 off-campus) were included. Eighteen (13.6%) main-campus and 16 (12.1%) off-campus students completed at least 1 voluntary assignment. The following voluntary assignments were completed: observe a procedure (15, 11.4%), use an interpreter phone (26, 19.7%), ask a preceptor to critique a clinical note (12, 9.1%), and follow-up on a patient after the rotation ends (7, 5.3%). Off-campus students completed the assignments more often (29.1%) than on-campus students (23.4%)
Conclusion
Our clerkship values specific patient-focused tasks that may enhance student development, but are not attainable at all clinical sites. When provided a voluntary assignment list, 34 out of 132 students (25.8%) completed them. Clerkships that utilize off-campus sites should consider this approach to optimize the pediatric educational experience.
Keywords: Undergraduate medical education; Educational measurement; Clinical Clerkship; Patient-focused care
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