Background One element of rheumatology undergraduate teaching in City Hospital Sunderland, UK traditionally involves “paper cases” delivered via small group learning and discussion. Although popular it has had poor feedback from both the students and the tutors at times especially when the tutor to student ratio is high (>1:6). With limited numbers of tutors (Consultant Rheumatologists), this issue was becoming more frequent.
Objectives We wished to explore alternative yet still interactive methods to highlight key learning points relating to common rheumatological conditions in a 60 minute teaching session and to make this fun and engaging.
Methods 30 undergraduate medical students (January 2017) were given modified teaching material for a 60 minute teaching session a week later. This material involved a partially populated Microsoft Powerpoint slideshow including prompts about a theoretical patient's clinical case in the notes section. This guided development of a clinical case presentation which covered diverse aspects of clinical care, e.g. imaging, extra-articular disease, drug side effects and disease activity scores. Clinical cases addressed systemic lupus erythematous, early rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ankylosing spondylitis and established RA. Students (groups of 2–3) received one case each were encouraged to use images and online teaching repositories to enhance their presentation. This provided the framework for a 20 minute teaching presentation which was given to their student peers at a formal teaching day 1 week later. A tutor was also present during these sessions (with a ratio of 1:10) to ensure adequate understanding of topics had been achieved and to answer any questions. Feedback was sought from the students and compared with previous “paper case” (non-modified) sessions.
Results Feedback obtained (n=9) showed 55% of students rated the modified teaching session as “excellent” with the remainder rating it as “good”. Free-text comments included “good to have students to do the presentations so they cover relevant points” “very useful to have a quick 20 minute overview of different conditions & preparation was useful” and “lots of learning, interactive”. Additional comments included the wish for more time to cover the points in even more depth. Informal feedback from the tutors of these events was also favourable with tutors believing students had a developed a greater depth of understanding. These findings compared favourably with the previous years “paper-case” feedback (March 2016, n=13) where only 23% (n=3) of students had rated the session as “excellent” as well as free text comments emphasising wishes for more time to read through cases and smaller group discussion.
Conclusions Current “paper based” modalities can easily be utilized and “re-purposed” to optimize both self-directed and formal teaching components of undergraduate teaching. This can promote the understanding of complex rheumatological learning points in a relatively short period of time and allow students exposure to modalities, such as imaging, which may previously be excluded in a traditional “paper case” format.
Disclosure of Interest None declared