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Int J Emerg Med. 2016 Dec;9(1):25. doi: 10.1186/s12245-016-0123-6. Epub 2016 Sep 13.

Creating a contemporary clerkship curriculum: the flipped classroom model in emergency medicine.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, Stanford University, 300 Pasteur Drive, Alway Building, M121, Stanford, CA, 94305-2200, USA.



The teaching modality of "flipping the classroom" has garnered recent attention in medical education. In this model, the lecture and homework components are reversed. The flipped classroom lends itself to more interaction in "class" and theoretically improved clinical decision-making. Data is lacking for this model for students in emergency medicine clerkships. We trialed the flipped classroom in our fourth-year student clerkship. Our aim was to learn student and faculty facilitator perceptions of the experience, as it has not been done previously in this setting. We evaluated this in two ways: (1) participant perception of the experience and (2) facilitator (EM physician educator) perception of student preparation, participation, and knowledge synthesis.


With permission from its creators, we utilized an online video series derived from the Clerkship Directors in Emergency Medicine. Students were provided the link to these 1 week prior to the classroom experience as the "homework." We developed patient cases generated from the videos that we discussed during class in small-group format. Afterward, students were surveyed about the experience using four-point Likert items and free-text comments and also were evaluated by the facilitator on a nine-point scale.


Forty-six clerkship students participated. Students deemed the online modules useful at 2.9 (95 % CI 2.7-3.2). Further, they reported the in-class discussion to be of high value at 3.9 (95 % CI 3.8-4.0), much preferred the flipped classroom to traditional lecturing at 3.8 (95 % CI 3.6-3.9), and rated the overall experience highly at 3.8 (95 % CI 3.7-3.9). Based on preparation, participation, and knowledge synthesis, the facilitator judged participants favorably at 7.4 (95 % CI 7.0-7.8). Students commented that the interactivity, discussion, and medical decision-making were advantages of this format.


Students found high value in the flipped classroom and prefer it to traditional lecturing, citing interactivity and discussion as the main reasons. The facilitator also viewed that the students were not only well prepared for the flipped classroom but that they also actively participated in and synthesized knowledge adequately during this experience. This study supports the use of the flipped classroom for EM clerkship students as a valuable, preferable teaching technique.


Clerkship; Curriculum; Flipped classroom; Fourth year; Online; Student

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