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Med Educ. 2001 Apr;35(4):398-403.

Designing a community-based fourth-year obstetrics and gynaecology module: an example of innovative curriculum development.

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  • 1St Bartholomew's and the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK.



This paper describes the design and evaluation of the community-based obstetrics and gynaecology module at St Bartholomew's and the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry. This module sets out to comply with the General Medical Council's recommendations of encouraging students to consider the community perspective, and places less emphasis on a disease-orientated approach.


The development of the module, issues of improving student acceptance of the course, staff development and the benefits of community teaching in obstetrics and gynaecology are discussed.


The 2-week module precedes the 8-week hospital obstetrics and gynaecology firms that occur in the fourth undergraduate year. The course is organized into three components: general practice, departmental teaching, and self-directed learning. Students are allocated to general practices for their clinical teaching, for eight sessions. Seven departmental sessions are run by the Academic Department of General Practice and Primary Care. These include a review of the students' self-directed learning.


Evaluation data are reported for the three components of the course. Overall the majority of students rated the module as useful, GP attachments being most favourably received. The majority of students have grasped the basic obstetric and gynaecological history and examination skills and found this useful before starting their hospital firms. Aspects of a specialist subject, such as, obstetrics and gynaecology, can be taught successfully in the community and GP tutors are, as yet, an untapped source of excellent obstetric and gynaecology teaching.

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