Depending on whom you may ask, or the journal article you read on the topic, Grand Rounds is either alive and well or nearing its swan song, but at Oceania University of Medicine, with a student body and faculty working from a dozen-plus global locations, Grand Rounds presents a unique opportunity beyond its original historical offering.

What is the Grand Rounds backstory, historically and at OUM?

For centuries, or at least dozens and dozens of decades, Grand Rounds has been the standard medical education tool in every hospital, from large urban teaching hospitals to local community institutions and every facility in between. Its goal has been to help attending physicians, house staff, residents, interns, and medical students stay abreast of topics that may be outside their institution and scope of everyday practice.

Dr. Khrystal Boone, MD

“OUM students benefit from attending medical school with colleagues from many global locations, now living largely in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Samoa, and the US,” says Khrystal Boone, MD, OUM’s Dean for North America and Grand Rounds coordinator (pictured right). “Many of our students also have years of clinical experience from their pre-medical school careers as nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, and more,” she adds.

OUM’s international student body means exposure to a wide range of topics from those pre-medical school careers. Many are non-traditional medical students who also complete clinical rotations at a unique collection of teaching hospitals, from OUM’s primary teaching facility in Apia, Samoa, to urban hospitals and rural facilities in many of our five primary markets.

“This means our students experience very different patient socioeconomics, cultural norms, and medical cultures that determine disease patterns and progression, and all are reflected when they present at Grand Rounds,” says Dr. Boone.

Who presents during Grand Rounds?

On the first Friday of every month, via Zoom, one clinical student presents a case study at Grand Rounds. They are selected by OUM’s case study evaluators after a continuous review of student end-of-rotation case studies.

Is Grand Rounds attendance mandatory at OUM? Yes. Students are required to attend a minimum of 13 live sessions, and a record of attendance is kept in the Student Information System.

What are the benefits of Grand Rounds?

“Occasionally, I am asked ‘If I’m selected to present, can I choose not to participate?’,” says Dr. Boone. “My answer is always ‘Yes, but I don’t recommend it.’ I always remind students that learning how to prepare a case study for Grand Rounds is an educational opportunity that will guide their future as an intern, resident, and attending.”

With a nod to 2023, in contrast to 1923, Dr. Boone says she and her colleagues also encourage students to make the virtual Grand Rounds into a social experience. Students doing rotations in the same city are encouraged to link up for the sessions. If they meet as a group, they are asked to turn on their cameras. Pictures may be shared on OUM’s social media platforms.

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