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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: the Effect of a Longitudinal Simulation Curriculum on Student Clerkship Satisfaction

Background: Third-year clerkship evaluations at our institution indicate dissatisfaction with hands-on experience and faculty continuity.  We developed a longitudinal simulation curriculum where faculty members were paired with small student groups.


Methods: For the 2015-2016 academic year, our three-part simulation curriculum incorporated GTA (Gynecologic Teaching Associate) exams, suturing with BOSS-platforms, and vaginal delivery with the Noelle™ Birth Simulator.  The same preceptor facilitated each session.


Results: Students (n=144) used a 5-point Likert scale to score the sessions’ usefulness for their learning.   GTA and vaginal delivery sessions received mean scores of 4.00±0.8 and 2.86±1.08.  Comments conveyed dissatisfaction with the “reality” of Noelle™. Suturing mean scores were similar; however, comments indicated that these were particularly valued sessions.  While the majority of students (>60%) found each simulation exercise to be “mostly useful” to “essential;” this increased to over 70% for suturing. Twenty-five percent (36/144) reported that their longitudinal preceptor was helpful outside of the scheduled sessions.  Overall faculty involvement scores remained similar to the previous year. Twenty-one percent of students reported that they only shadowed in the clinical setting, which was similar to the previous year.


Discussions: The majority of students found this simulation curriculum useful.  However, having a longitudinal program did not translate into improved clerkship evaluations of overall attending involvement in teaching and student involvement in active patient care.   Students desire authentic clinical experiences and meaningful faculty interaction.  Simulation and structured faculty interactions alone cannot satisfy this need.  


Keywords: Curriculum Development/Evaluation, Instructional Materials/Methods, Simulation, Teaching Skills

Topics: CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2017, Faculty, Clerkship Director, Clerkship Coordinator, Patient Care, Interpersonal & Communication Skills, UME, Simulation, Standardized Patient,

General Information

Faculty,Clerkship Director,Clerkship Coordinator,
Patient Care,Interpersonal & Communication Skills,
Simulation,Standardized Patient,
Clinical Focus

Author Information

Jane Limmer, MD, University of Colorado School of Medicine; Kristina Tocce, MD, MPH

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