Welcome, Orientation, Language Training: a project at the Charite for new international medical students.
ABSTRACT: Objective: A comprehensive, integrated support programme for new international students of medicine has been developed, implemented and evaluated at the Charité. The objectives of the programme were improved social integration, orientation on the study program and Charité campus, as well as qualification in medical specialist language. Project outline: The "Charité Orientation Module for International Students" (ChOIS) was designed by a working group with a variety of expertise in the field of international students. The programme has three stages: Recruitment (specific invitation on matriculation); Orientation week before semester start; and Parallel events during the first semester. ChoOIS was piloted in the Winter Semester 2015/16 and, following evaluation, continued in a modified form in the Summer Semester 2016. Key features were: Welcome and social integration by faculty welcome-events and student group activities; Orientation on the study program, on teaching infrastructures at the Charité and on student life in Berlin by senior medical students; and Training in language for medical communication and bedside teaching by professional lecturers. Results: Results of evaluations conducted after the orientation weeks, at the end of the semester and retrospectively in the 3rd semester produced high approval ratings of the individual features of the ChOIS-programme and of the programme as a whole by participating students. Discussion: A comprehensive, integrated support programme for new international students of medicine has been developed and implemented. The ChOIS-programme can serve as a practice model to guide other medical faculties. In future, a programme that goes beyond the start of the course and includes more involvement by senior students would be desirable.
Project description:Aim: The introduction of a reform clause into the German licensing laws for medical doctors has enabled German faculties to pilot alternative designs for medical degree programmes. The aim of this project report is to outline the curricular features of the modular curriculum of medicine (MCM) at the Charité and to assess the results of its implementation based on a student evaluation across semesters. Project outline: The MCM was planned and implemented in a competency- and outcome-based manner from 2010-2016 in a faculty-wide process. The curriculum is characterised by a modular structure, longitudinal teaching formats and the integration of basic and clinical science. In the winter semester 2017, evaluations by students in semesters 1-10 were carried out. The results were analysed descriptively, and the coverage of overarching learning outcomes was compared to the results of a survey carried out amongst students on the traditional regular curriculum of medicine track in 2016. Results: A total of 1,047 students participated in the across-semester evaluation (return rate 35%). A high percentage of the respondents positively rated the achieved curricular integration and longitudinal teaching formats. The majority of the respondents agreed with the relevance of the overarching learning outcomes. Students' evaluations of the coverage of learning outcomes showed a differentiated picture for the MCM. Compared to the regular curriculum track, the coverage in the MCM programme showed substantial improvements in all aspects. Students found themselves to be better prepared for the M2 state examination and the practical year. The students' overall satisfaction with their decisions to study in the MCM was high. Conclusions: The results of the student evaluation show that a significant improvement in medical education has been achieved at the Charité with the new integrated, outcome-oriented design and the implementation of the MCM. At the same time, ongoing weaknesses have been revealed that serve as a basis for the continued development of the curriculum. This report aims to contribute to the discussion of the future of undergraduate medical education in Germany.
Project description:<b>Background:</b> Recent decades have seen controversial discussions on the validity of dissection courses in medical education, with alternative programs tested for various reasons. On April 1, 2015 the classification of formaldehyde as a hazardous substance was upgraded by the EU, leding to some universities precluding the participation of pregnant and breastfeeding students in dissection course. However, the revision to the Maternity Protection Act, implemented in Germany on January 1, 2018, now protects student mothers from being disadvantaged in their studies as a consequence of their pregnancy or breastfeeding. Therefore, universities must offer alternatives to dissection courses using formaldehyde to these female students. <b>Project description:</b> As an alternative to regular dissection courses, which use the abovementioned chemical, the Centre for Anatomy at Charité has opted for developing dedicated courses for student mothers. These new courses use plastinated prosection material instead of formalin-treated cadavers of body donors. As the core of the anatomical education takes place during the third and fourth semester in the current curriculum of human medicine at Charité the alternative courses are limited to those two semesters. Additionally, alternative exams at the end of both semesters had to be developed. The alternative courses were designed to offer pregnant and breastfeeding students a study program as close as possible to the one in which their peers learn human anatomy. <b>Results:</b> For the new courses, plastinates had to be produced and further specimens are still needed. Additionally required sets of bones, models and radiological images were readily available at the Centre for Anatomy. The planning and conceptualization of the courses took half a year of intense preparation. The courses for the third and fourth semester were first running during summer semester 2017. There is a clear demand for courses among pregnant and breastfeeding students. At least 5 student participants per course were registered, corresponding to every fortieth female student in their semester cohorts. The highest number of student participants was 13 in one course so far. The performances of the participants in the anatomical examinations were matching that of students attending the regular courses. <b>Discussion:</b> The alternative macroscopic anatomy courses enable the implementation of the revised Maternity Protection Act. The targeted student group is highly satisfied with the offered alternative courses. Considering the number of participants and their examination performance so far, the Centre for Anatomy regards the efforts involved in planning and implementing the courses as justified. The courses allow pregnant and breastfeeding students to address the same anatomical themes at the same time as their fellow students. However, due to restricted flexibility of plastinates and because students cannot prepare specific anatomical structures independently the scope of topographic learning is limited. That being said, well-produced plastinates can display anatomical structures which often cannot be dissected in regular courses. The alternative macroscopic anatomy courses using plastinates constitute suitable alternatives to the regular dissection courses with formalin-treated cadavers for pregnant and breastfeeding students.
Project description:PURPOSE: The objective of this study was to assess student perceptions of the environment in this medical college using the Dundee Ready Educational Environment Measure (DREEM). METHODS: Cross-sectional study; 348 medical student volunteers (68.1%) of all semesters participated (511 enrolled). DREEM has 50 items, each rated from 0-4 (Likert scale: 0, strongly disagree to 4, strongly agree), that measure five domains: students' perceptions of learning; perceptions of teachers; academic self-perception; perceptions of the atmosphere; and social self-perception. Mean item scores, domain scores, and global scores were computed. RESULTS: The three highest rated items were knowledgeable teachers, having good friends, and confidence about passing; the three most problematic items were a poor support system for stressed students, inability to memorize everything, and over-emphasis on factual learning. The percentage score for perception of learning (47.26± 14.85) was significantly lower than that for teachers (52.28± 9.91; P< 0.001); academic self-perception (52.14 ± 15.21; P < 0.001); perception of the atmosphere (51.21 ± 13.60; P = 0.001); and social self-perception (50.63± 13.90; P= 0.010). The global scores were lowest for eighth-semester students (89.8± 21.24) when compared to second (101.33± 21.05; P= 0.003), fourth (107.69± 18.96; P< 0.001), and sixth (100.07± 20.61; P= 0.020). CONCLUSION: Improvement is required across all domains of the educational environment at this institution. Students, particularly of the eighth semester, perceived the teaching negatively. The lowest scores were given to the support system, burdensome course content, and factual learning; thus, a hybrid curriculum that includes problem-based learning might provide students with stimulating learning; structured clinical teaching with specific curricular objectives, as well as mentoring of senior students by faculty and near-peers, might improve the learning environment for senior students.
Project description:Background:As efforts continue to diversify the physician workforce so that it better matches the patient population, the number of medical students with disabilities will increase. U.S. medical schools and emergency medicine (EM) clerkships should be prepared to provide full and meaningful access to learners with disabilities. Methods:We created a novel means of providing access to a senior medical student with a mobility disability (secondary to a cervical spinal cord injury) to participate in a fourth-year EM clerkship. We hired four second-year medical students as intermediaries to perform senior medical student-directed physical examination maneuvers, during his 15 required 8-hour emergency department shifts. The senior medical student dictated his documentation using Dragon Natural Speaking (Nuance Communications, 2015) voice recognition software. Results:The senior medical student successfully completed the required clinical clerkship and earned a honors grade for his work. Both the senior medical student and the second-year medical student intermediaries gave positive feedback about the experience. Conclusions:Given the significant prevalence of disability among medical students in U.S. medical schools, medical educators should provide greater access to students with disabilities and opportunities for advanced education for all learners by creating innovative clinical curriculum. The authors recommend the student intermediary model for senior medical students with physical disabilities in required clinical clerkships.
Project description:Aim: Better training in scientific skills, such as the ability to conduct research independently, has been one of the main drivers of reform in medical education. The aim of this article is to report on the scientific term paper module in the modular curriculum of medicine (MCM) at the Charité. This module is an established example of undergraduate medical students conducting their own scientific investigations. Project outline: A faculty-wide, outcome-oriented process resulted in a four-week module for writing a scientific term paper in the 6th semester of the MCM as part of a longitudinal science curriculum. Acquired competencies were assessed through a written term paper and an oral presentation. Two student cohorts (winter terms 2013 and 2014) were surveyed on how they rated the module concept, organizational aspects and the quality of support. We further analysed the chosen topics of the papers as well as student assessment results. Results: The student evaluation (return rates of 193 and 197, 71% and 77%) showed high overall satisfaction with the module. This result was evident in the high rating of the module concept and organizational aspects, a positive attitude towards scientific research, and strong motivation to pursue further scientific research. There was a wide spectrum of term paper topics with a focus on literature reviews. Most of the student work was assessed as good or very good. Conclusion: The scientific term paper module has proven itself as a curricular concept for students to perform own scientific research in the MCM, with strong acceptance and good performance by students. This project report can serve as basis and guidance for development and further improvements to promote scientific competencies in undergraduate medical education in other faculties.
Project description:Introduction: Many medical faculties are introducing faculty development programmes to train their teaching staff with the aim of improving student learning performance. Frequently changing parameters within faculties pose a challenge for the sustainable establishment of such programmes. In this paper, we aim to describe facilitating and hindering parameters using the example of the basic teacher training (BTT) course at the Charité - Universtitätsmedizin Berlin (Charité). Project description: After sporadic pilot attempts for university education training, basic teacher training was finally established at the Charité in 2006 for all new teaching staff. An interdisciplinary taskforce at the office for student affairs designed the programme according to the Kern cycle of curriculum development, while the Charité advanced training academy provided the necessary resources. Within ten years more than 900 faculty members have completed the BTT (9% of current active teaching staff at the Charité). The BTT programme underwent several phases (piloting, evaluation, review, personnel and financial boosting), all of which were marked by changes in the staff and organizational framework. Evaluations by participants were very positive, sustainable effects on teaching could be proven to a limited extent. Discussion: Success factors for the establishment of the programme were the institutional framework set by the faculty directors, the commitment of those involved, the support of research grants and the thoroughly positive evaluation by participants. More challenging were frequent changes in parameters and the allocation of incentive resources for other, format-specific training courses (e.g. PBL) as part of the introduction of the new modular curriculum of the Charité. Conclusion: The sustainment of the programme was enabled through strategic institutional steps taken by the faculty heads. Thanks to the commitment and input by those at a working level as well as management level, the basic teacher training course is today an established part of the faculty development programme at the Charité.
Project description:Objective: To develop and evaluate an elective for the 6th semester in the medical curriculum at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. In this elective, medical students could experience and test Community Oriented Primary Care, hence the integration of public health into primary care, by using explorative learning methods.Method: In three consecutive semester, all participants of the elective filled in a questionnaire before and after the elective. The self-developed questionnaire covered socio-demographic features, an evaluation of the elective as well as a self-assessment regarding learning objectives and attitudes. The results were analyzed descriptively; the learning success was measured by mixed model regression.Results: Thirty-one students (100% of the elective participants) took part in the evaluation, 30 of them (96.8%) at both survey dates. The students evaluated the elective and particularly the commitment of the teachers as very positive. The five-level Likert scale showed a significant growth of knowledge by an average of 1.3 points. The attitudes of the students hardly changed.Conclusion: Students can experience Public Health practically by means of Community Oriented Primary Care. In doing so, explorative learning is an appropriate method providing a significant increase in competences.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To explore medical student perceptions and experiences of gender bias within medical education. SETTING:Gender bias-'prejudiced actions or thoughts based on the perception that women are not equal to men'-is a widespread issue. Within medicine, the pay gap, under-representation of women in senior roles and sexual harassment are among the most concerning issues demonstrating its presence and impact. While research investigating experiences of clinicians is gaining traction, investigation of medical students' experiences is lacking. This qualitative study analyses medical students' experiences of gender bias within their education to discern any patterns to this bias. Illuminating the current state of medical education gender bias will hopefully highlight areas in which student experience could be improved. Constructivist thematic analysis was used to analyse data, informed by William's patterns of gender bias, intersectional feminism and communities of practice theory. PARTICIPANTS:Thirty-two medical students from multiple UK medical schools participated in individual interviews. Nine faculty members were also interviewed to triangulate data. RESULTS:Gender bias has an overt presence during medical student education, manifesting in line with William's patterns of bias, impacting career aspirations. Physical environments serve to manifest organisational values, sending implicit messages regarding who is most welcome-currently, this imagery remains 'too male, too pale…too stale'. Existing gender initiatives require careful scrutiny, as this work identifies the superficial application of positive action, and a failure to affect meaningful change. CONCLUSIONS:Despite progress having been made regarding overt gender discrimination, implicit bias persists, with existing positive action inadequate in promoting the advancement of women. Institutions should mandate participation in implicit bias education programmes for all staff and must strive to revise the imagery within physical environments to better represent society. Gender initiatives, like Athena Scientific Women's Academic Network, also require large-scale evaluation regarding their impact, which this work found to be lacking.
Project description:The seminal report Vision and Change outlined improvements necessary for undergraduate biology courses to accomplish widely recognized learning objectives. Over the past 8 years, we have developed a two-semester introductory biology course that incorporates the core concepts and competencies recommended in Vision and Change Using published research on how students learn, we focused our efforts on three main areas of change: pedagogy, course content, and technology. We introduced active-learning strategies to improve our classroom environments, wrote an e-textbook that provides students with the tools they need to construct their own knowledge, and employed an online learning hub to assist students who needed extra support. The redesigned courses have been well received by students, and we have seen good student learning outcomes. The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate to faculty that Vision and Change's recommendations are feasible and students welcome the improvements.
Project description:Background: It has been documented that international students face diverse challenges due to language and cultural barriers. International medical students suffer from personal distress, a lack of support and perform poorer than local fellow-students in clinical examinations. It has been documented that international medical students benefit from peer-led tutorials in their first year. We investigated the effectiveness of a tutorial offered for international medical students in their second year. Methods: A peer-guided examination preparation course with interactive elements for second year international medical students was designed, learning objectives were defined. Two evaluations were undertaken: In a quantitative assessment, students were asked to fill out five multiple-choice-questions at the beginning of every session of the tutorial (pre-test) as well as to participate in a post-test at the end of the semester in which all former multiple-choice-questions were re-used. Using a qualitative approach, participants were asked for their thoughts and comments in a semi-structured interview at the end of the semester. Results: International students (N=12) showed significantly better results in the post- than in the pre-test (t(11)=-8.48, p<.001, d=1.95). Within the interviews, international students (N=10) reported to have benefited from technical and didactic, as well as social learning experiences. The individual lectures students were asked to contribute were discussed controversially. Conclusion: Our peer-guided tutorial for second year international medical students is an effective and well accepted possibility to prepare these students for examinations.