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G337(P) ‘Five a day’ keeps the stress at bay: Using a ‘five a day’ initiative to increase confidence, satisfaction and learning outcomes of undergraduate medical students during their paediatric rotation
  1. K Green,
  2. H Goodfellow,
  3. M Ghandi
  1. Department of Child Health, Royal Free Hospital, London, UK


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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