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Fam Med. 1992 Jul;24(5):378-81.

Designing and evaluating an episodic, problem-based geriatric curriculum.

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1
Office of Medical Education, Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19129.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Medical school geriatric training has been directed primarily at improving students' attitudes and knowledge about elderly patients. This study evaluated a clinical problem-based geriatric course for medical students.

METHODS:

The two-semester geriatric course was presented to 136 second-year medical students. Faculty taught students about clinical reasoning in ambulatory geriatrics using written cases, patient-actors, literature reviews, lectures, and discussions. At the end of the course, students' clinical activity was evaluated using audiotaped interviews with standardized geriatric patients. A questionnaire examined students' knowledge, attitudes, and their evaluation of the course.

RESULTS:

All 136 students completed the post-course standardized patient interview, and 105 (77%) completed questionnaires. Students rated the course favorably and had high confidence scores for ability to assess geriatric problems. Students' knowledge increased during the course compared to a precourse examination (P less than .05). Evaluation of post-course standardized patient interviews revealed that students who scored higher on the knowledge test tended to ask more psychosocial questions during the interview (r = 0.38). Students who scored higher on the attitude test spent more time eliciting patients' feelings during the interview (r = 0.38). Those with lower scores on the attitude test spent more time asking factual, nonpsychosocial questions (r = 0.28).

CONCLUSIONS:

A clinical problem-based geriatric course for preclinical medical students can be successful in improving students' knowledge. Attitudes and knowledge effect the questions a student asks during the medical interview.

PMID:
1526387
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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