Contextualizing the relevance of basic sciences: small-group simulation with debrief for first- and second-year medical students in an integrated curriculum.
Adv Med Educ Pract
There has been a call for increased integration of basic and clinical sciences during preclinical years of undergraduate medical education. Despite the recognition that clinical simulation is an effective pedagogical tool, little has been reported on its use to demonstrate the relevance of basic science principles to the practice of clinical medicine. We hypothesized that simulation with an integrated science and clinical debrief used with early learners would illustrate the importance of basic science principles in clinical diagnosis and management of patients.Small groups of first- and second-year medical students were engaged in a high-fidelity simulation followed by a comprehensive debrief facilitated by a basic scientist and clinician. Surveys including anchored and open-ended questions were distributed at the conclusion of each experience.The majority of the students agreed that simulation followed by an integrated debrief illustrated the clinical relevance of basic sciences (mean ± standard deviation: 93.8% ± 2.9% of first-year medical students; 96.7% ± 3.5% of second-year medical students) and its importance in patient care (92.8% of first-year medical students; 90.4% of second-year medical students). In a thematic analysis of open-ended responses, students felt that these experiences provided opportunities for direct application of scientific knowledge to diagnosis and treatment, improving student knowledge, simulating real-world experience, and developing clinical reasoning, all of which specifically helped them understand the clinical relevance of basic sciences.Small-group simulation followed by a debrief that integrates basic and clinical sciences is an effective means of demonstrating the relationship between scientific fundamentals and patient care for early learners. As more medical schools embrace integrated curricula and seek opportunities for integration, our model is a novel approach that can be utilized.
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School of Medicine
Emergency Medicine; General Internal Medicine