Background Physical examination is a critical component of medical practice yet skills are falling into disuse resulting in unfamiliarity with signs and an increased reliance on laboratory and imaging tests.1,2 The focus on safety and quality of care and efficient patient turnover has significantly impacted on the availability of patients with clinical findings willing to be examined by students. It is our experience and reported by others that skills’ teaching is not consistent across clinical rotations.2 The need for standardisation and a shortage of training capacity have contributed to the increasing use simulation techniques.
Methodology 2nd year students were divided into two groups, one taught peripheral arterial examination on a SimMan 3G and the second group on simulated patients (SPs) and assessed by OSCE with patients presenting with peripheral arterial disease. Feedback was obtained from students in focus group discussions.
Results (Tables with results to be presented in the poster)
There was no difference in the pass rate at OSCE between the two groups. SimMan better facilitated repeated practice, group learning, peer teaching and discussion which were highly valued by the students. Students felt that their spatial cognition, pattern recognition and development of mental spatial signs were not best facilitated during the SimMan tutorial. They also felt unprepared to deal with real patients in terms of having practiced appropriate language to issue commands, to put patients at ease or to reassure patients and felt embarrassed when faced with an intimate examination of a real patient for the first time.
Conclusion Both methods of simulation teaching have distinct merits and the ideal approach maybe to use the SimMan in combination with SP tutorials.
Schwind CJ, Boehler ML, Folse R, Dunnington G, Markwell SJ. Development of physical examination skills in a third-year surgical clerkship. Am J Surg. 2001;181:338–40
Mangione S, Burdick WP, Peitzman SJ. Physical diagnosis skills of physicians in training: a focused assessment. Acad Emerg Med.1995;2:622–9
Ramani S. Twelve tips for excellent physical examination teaching. Med Teach. 2008;30:851–856
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.