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Acad Med. 2006 Oct;81(10 Suppl):S95-7.

Teaching foundational physical examination skills: study results comparing lay teaching associates and physician instructors.

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1
Center for Advancing Professional Excellence, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, School of Medicine, P.O. Box 6508, Mail Stop F495, Aurora, CO 80045, USA. gwyn.barley@uchsc.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The purpose of this pilot study was to determine differences in the physical exam skills of first-year medical students learning physical exam exclusively from standardized physical examination teaching associates (SPETAs) or physician faculty.

METHOD:

In all, 144 first-year medical students were randomized to receive SPETA or physician-led physical examination instruction. Students participated in an OSCE assessment immediately following the end of the curriculum block.

RESULTS:

SPETA-trained students performed equivalently to physician faculty trained students across all stations with a mean of 82.9% versus 81.2% (p = .226). Students taught by SPETAs performed significantly better on the abdominal OSCE with a mean score of 88.8%, while physician faculty taught students had a mean score of 85.4% (p = .03).

CONCLUSION:

Findings from this study suggest that SPETAs can effectively teach foundational physical examination skills to medical students at a similar and sometimes better performance level as physician faculty.

PMID:
17001147
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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