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GMS J Med Educ. 2018 Feb 15;35(1):Doc6. doi: 10.3205/zma001153. eCollection 2018.

Competency-based learning in an ambulatory care setting: Implementation of simulation training in the Ambulatory Care Rotation during the final year of the MaReCuM model curriculum.

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Hannover Medical School, Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medicine, Hannover, Germany.
Medical Faculty Mannheim Heidelberg University, University Medicine Mannheim (UMM), Mannheim, Germany.


in English, German

Aim: As part of the MaReCuM model curriculum at Medical Faculty Mannheim Heidelberg University, a final year rotation in ambulatory care was implemented and augmented to include ambulatory care simulation. In this paper we describe this ambulatory care simulation, the designated competency-based learning objectives, and evaluate the educational effect of the ambulatory care simulation training. Method: Seventy-five final year medical students participated in the survey (response rate: 83%). The control group completed the ambulatory rotation prior to the implementation of the ambulatory care simulation. The experimental group was required to participate in the simulation at the beginning of the final year rotation in ambulatory care. A survey of both groups was conducted at the beginning and at the end of the rotation. The learning objectives were taken from the National Competency-based Catalogue of Learning Objectives for Undergraduate Medical Education (NKLM). Results: The ambulatory care simulation had no measurable influence on students' subjectively perceived learning progress, the evaluation of the ambulatory care rotation, or working in an ambulatory care setting. At the end of the rotation participants in both groups reported having gained better insight into treating outpatients. At the beginning of the rotation members of both groups assessed their competencies to be at the same level. The simulated ambulatory scenarios were evaluated by the participating students as being well structured and easy to understand. The scenarios successfully created a sense of time pressure for those confronted with them. The ability to correctly fill out a narcotic prescription form as required was rated significantly higher by those who participated in the simulation. Participation in the ambulatory care simulation had no effect on the other competencies covered by the survey. Discussion: The effect of the four instructional units comprising the ambulatory care simulation was not measurable due to the current form or the measurement point at the end of the 12-week rotation. The reasons for this could be the many and statistically elusive factors relevant to the individual and the wide variety among final year rotation placements, the late point in time of the final survey, and the selection of simulated scenarios. The course is slated to undergo specific further development and should be supplemented with additional learning opportunities to ensure that the main learning objectives are covered. The description of the teaching format is meant to contribute to the ongoing development of medical education with an emphasis on competency in the areas of ambulatory care, communication, prevention and health promotion.


ambulatory care; competency-based education; medical education; outpatient care; patient simulation

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