Send to

Choose Destination
Dermatology. 2007;214(2):108-11.

Clinical questions asked by medical students: a learning tool for dermatology rotations.

Author information

Department of Dermatology, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, Denver, CO, USA.



To determine whether having medical students answer self-generated patient-specific questions in a clinical setting promotes learning.


Medical students rotating through dermatology clinics at the Denver Veterans' Affairs (VA) Medical Center were asked to formulate and answer one clinical question arising during patient encounters, and to complete a survey regarding their findings and experience.


49% (44/89) of rotating medical students completed the exercise. Self-generated questions frequently addressed therapy (61%, 27/44), prognosis (13%, 6/44), etiology/risk factors (7%, 3/44), and harm (5%, 2/44). The most frequently used sources of clinical information were journal abstracts/articles (55%, 24/44), UpToDate (50%, 22/44), websites (27%, 12/44) and printed textbooks (25%, 11/44). Medical students rated the impact of answers they obtained on a Likert scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) for the following: can be used to assist in patient's care (mean 4.1), improved care (mean 3.7), improved communication (mean 4.4), improved confidence in care (mean 4.2), improved knowledge (mean 4.6), and will improve future care (mean 4.5).


Medical students report increased knowledge, confidence and patient care skills after completing a self-directed formal exercise consisting of formulating and answering a patient-specific clinical question.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland
Loading ...
Support Center