Aims The relatively short undergraduate medical student exposure to paediatrics is a common challenge among UK medical schools in the short term. However, ensuring that medical students have enjoyable rotations, facilitating confidence and interest in paediatric medicine is essential to ensure longer-term occupancy of paediatric training posts. Our project aimed to maximise the confidence and enjoyment of fifth year medical students undergoing their paediatric rotation in a UK medical school.
Our Aims were
To improve medical student learning, enjoyment and confidence in paediatrics by encouraging clinical encounters during the undergraduate paediatric rotation
To facilitate confidence in basic paediatric tasks such as interacting with and examining children and completing simple prescriptions.
Methods We designed the ‘Five a Day’ concept- encouraging undergraduate medical students at one UK medical school to achieve 5 clinical encounters per day during their paediatric rotation. Students were asked to make notes of their 5 encounters, and doctors were encouraged to discuss with them daily their clinical encounters to facilitate participation and learning.
An initial pilot of post-rotation measures was completed with the first of the four cohorts of students to provide a baseline measure prior to implementing the initiative. The prospective study recorded quantitative student ratings both pre-and post-rotation, including measures of confidence and enjoyment. Data was collected for a total of 4 cohorts of 5th year medical students during their paediatric rotation during the same District General Hospital. Qualitative comments were also recorded from the students on the post-rotation survey.
Results Across the cohort of 30 students, the average self-reported number of daily interactions while on paediatric rotation was 3.42. Compared with the results from the pilot rotation, students engaging with the five a day initiative self-reported increased satisfaction from their paediatric rotation, with >10% increase in reported levels of confidence in paediatric practice, paediatric prescribing and communication with children. Improved confidence in examining children and paediatric clinical skills were also reported.
Conclusions The ‘Five a day’ initiative is a simple initiative which can be implemented to increase the satisfaction and confidence of undergraduate medical students during their undergraduate paediatric rotation.
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