Module Strengthens Foundational Skills

While many OUM students were skilled clinicians prior to enrolling, this is medical school. A different level of skill and focus is required. Period.

To make sure that all students possess a consistent level of clinical skills when starting rotations, on par with those of students from other medical schools, OUM has designed a new course to integrate clinical skills building with pre-clinical modules beginning the first day of medical school. The Day-One Clinical Skills Course is a requirement for all students who matriculate in Term 1801 (January 2018) and beyond. Current students take clinical skills as a stand-alone eight-week course.

“This new Day-One Clinical Skills Course has been assembled in order to get all our students on the same playing field prior to beginning clinical rotations,” says Paula Diamante, MD, OUM associate professor and director of faculty affairs, who will lead curriculum development for the new course.

The Day-One Clinical Skills Course will span the two-plus years of a student’s entire pre-clinical curriculum from the first week of medical school and may be taken in conjunction with any other pre-clinical module. The course will provide foundational knowledge of clinical procedures and skills, especially in history taking and physical examination, which students will build upon throughout their clinical phase of study.

Multi-channel delivery and assessment

The course will use Seidel’s Guide to Physical Examination 8th edition and Elsevier Sherpath, an educational platform that integrates content, assessment, and simulations. Recorded lectures will guide students through case studies and assignments that correlate to assigned readings. Additional resources include video clips of patient interviews and physical examinations.

The course’s two-part final exam is a complete patient history and differential diagnosis, as well as a “head to toe” physical examination performed in the presence of an on-camera examiner. Prior to beginning clinical rotations, student also complete an in-person, on-site assessment, usually 2-3 days in length, offered in Australia twice per year or through another provider such as the Chicago Medical Training Center, located at Jackson Park Hospital, OUM’s clinical clerkship site in Chicago.

While students coming into OUM during January 2018 and beyond will automatically be enrolled in the Day-One Clinical Skills Course, other options will be presented during new student orientation. Those include an eight-week course completed prior to beginning rotations or scheduling their first clinical rotation to be the 12-week Internal Medicine clerkship at OUM’s teaching hospital in Samoa.