The Iterative Development of a Simulation-Based Group Student Method for Preclinical Students
Introduction: Medical schools across Canada have adopted a competency-based approach to medical education. Group study has been identified to be an effective method in promoting student motivation, academic success, and mental health. We present a case study of the iterative development of a semi-structured group study method that allows students to practice and develop their clinical decision-making, communication, and physical exam skills.
Methods: Five medical students of the University of British Columbia’s MD Undergraduate Program (UBC MDUP) employed the Plan-Do-Study-Act model of quality improvement to continually evaluate and modify a group study method over their first year of medical school.
Results: Iteration 1 consisted of group sessions focused on reviewing weekly learning objectives. Iteration 2 employed case-based simulation of clinical scenarios, with the presentation of one case per week. Iteration 3 expanded on the case-based approach by running multiple cases in parallel and introducing time dedicated for case presentations.
Conclusion: The proposed group study method may be useful as an adjunct to the UBC curriculum in facilitating student competency-building. Group study through role-play of clinical scenarios allows preclinical students to practise their clinical skills prior to clerkship, in addition to encouraging bonding between fellow medical students.