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Journal Description

JMIR Medical Education (JME) is a Pubmed-indexed, peer-reviewed journal with focus on technology, innovation and openess in medical education. Another focus is on how to train health professionals in the use of digital tools. We publish original research, reviews, viewpoint and policy papers on innovation and technology in medical education. As an open access journal we have a special interest in open and free tools and digitial learning objects for medical education, and urge authors to make their tools and learning objects freely available (we may also publish them as Multimedia Appendix). We also invite submissions of non-conventional articles (eg, open medical education material and software resources that are not yet evaluated but free for others to use/implement). 

In our "Students' Corner", we invite students and trainees in the health professions to submit short essays and viewpoints on all aspects of medical education, but in particular suggestions on how to improve medical education, and suggestions for new technologies, applications and approaches (no article processing fees).

Articles published in JME will be submitted to PubMed and Pubmed Central. JME is open access.

 

Recent Articles:

  • Source: Siddharth Bhogra / Unsplash; Copyright: Siddharth Bhogra; URL: https://unsplash.com/photos/k3kdc5MQYyk; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Understanding the Use and Perceived Impact of a Medical Podcast: Qualitative Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Although podcasts are increasingly being produced for medical education, their use and perceived impact in informal educational settings are understudied. Objective: This study aimed to explore how and why physicians and medical learners listen to The Rounds Table (TRT), a medical podcast, as well as to determine the podcast’s perceived impact on learning and practice. Methods: Web-based podcast analytics were used to collect TRT usage statistics. A total of 17 medical TRT listeners were then identified and interviewed through purposive and convenience sampling, using a semistructured guide and a thematic analysis, until theoretical sufficiency was achieved. Results: The following four themes related to podcast listenership were identified: (1) participants thought that TRT increased efficiency, allowing them to multitask, predominantly using mobile listening platforms; (2) participants listened to the podcast for both education and entertainment, or “edutainment”; (3) participants thought that the podcast helped them keep up to date with medical literature; and (4) participants considered TRT to have an indirect effect on learning and clinical practice by increasing overall knowledge. Conclusions: Our results highlight how a medical podcast, designed for continuing professional development, is often used informally to promote learning. These findings enhance our understanding of how and why listeners engage with a medical podcast, which may be used to inform the development and evaluation of other podcasts.

  • AMBOSS website (montage). Source: Authors; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL: https://mededu.jmir.org/2019/2/e13529; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Association of Online Learning Behavior and Learning Outcomes for Medical Students: Large-Scale Usage Data Analysis

    Abstract:

    Background: Digital learning environments have become very common in the training of medical professionals, and students often use such platforms for exam preparation. Multiple choice questions (MCQs) are a common format in medical exams and are used by students to prepare for said exams. Methods: We analyzed data from users of an online platform that provides learning materials for medical students in preparation for their final exams. We analyzed whether the number of learning cards viewed and the number of MCQs taken were positively related to learning outcomes. We also examined whether viewing learning cards or answering MCQs was more effective. Finally, we tested whether taking individual notes predicted learning outcomes, and whether taking notes had an effect after controlling for the effects of learning cards and MCQs. Our analyses from the online platform Amboss are based on user activity data, which supplied the number of learning cards studied and test questions answered. We also included the number of notes from each of those 23,633 users who had studied at least 200 learning cards and had answered at least 1000 test exam questions in the 180 days before their state exam. The activity data for this analysis was collected retrospectively, using Amboss archival usage data from April 2014 to April 2017. Learning outcomes were measured using the final state exam scores that were calculated by using the answers voluntarily entered by the participants. Results: We found correlations between the number of cards studied (r=.22; P<.001) and the number of test questions that had been answered (r=.23; P<.001) with the percentage of correct answers in the learners’ medical exams. The number of test questions answered still yielded a significant effect, even after controlling for the number of learning cards studied using a hierarchical regression analysis (β=.14; P<.001; ΔR2=.017; P<.001). We found a negative interaction between the number of learning cards and MCQs, indicating that users with high scores for learning cards and MCQs had the highest exam scores. Those 8040 participants who had taken at least one note had a higher percentage of correct answers (80.94%; SD=7.44) than those who had not taken any notes (78.73%; SD=7.80; t23631=20.95; P<.001). In a stepwise regression, the number of notes the participants had taken predicted the percentage of correct answers over and above the effect of the number of learning cards studied and of the number of test questions entered in step one (β=.06; P<.001; ΔR2=.004; P<.001). Conclusions: These results show that online learning platforms are particularly helpful whenever learners engage in active elaboration in learning material, such as by answering MCQs or taking notes.

  • Interprofessional mobile learning. Source: rawpixel / Pexels; Copyright: rawpixel; URL: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-holding-white-smartphone-with-black-case-1331970/; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Media Use Among Students From Different Health Curricula: Survey Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptop computers enable users to search for information and communicate with others at any place and any time. Such devices are increasingly being used at universities for teaching and learning. The use of mobile devices by students depends, among others, on the individual media literacy level and the curricular framework. Objective: The objective of this study was to explore whether there were differences in media use in students from various curricula at the Faculty of Health, Witten/Herdecke University. Methods: During the 2015-16 winter term, a survey was conducted at the Faculty of Health, Witten/Herdecke University, in which a total of 705 students (out of 1091 students; response rate: 705/1091, 64.61%) from 4 schools participated voluntarily: medicine (346/598), dentistry (171/204), psychology (142/243), and nursing science (46/46). The questionnaire developed for the study included 132 questions on 4 topics: (1) electronic and mobile devices (19 questions), (2) communication and organization of learning (45 questions), (3) apps/programs/websites/media (34 questions), and (4) media literacy (34 questions). The questionnaire was distributed and anonymously completed during in-class courses. Results: Students from all 4 schools had at least two electronic devices, with smartphones (97.4%, 687/705) and laptops (94.8%, 669/705) being the most common ones. Students agreed that electronic devices enabled them to effectively structure the learning process (mean 3.16, SD 0.62) and shared the opinion that university teaching should include imparting media literacy (mean 2.84, SD 0.84). Electronic device ownership was the highest among medical students (mean 2.68, SD 0.86) and medical students were the only ones to use a tutorial (36.1%, 125/346). Dental students most widely used text messages (mean 3.41, SD 0.49) and social media (mean 2.57, SD 1.10) to organize learning. Psychology students considered mobile devices to be most ineffective (mean 2.81, SD 0.83). Nursing science students used emails (mean 3.47, SD 0.73) and desktop computers (39%, 18/46) most widely. Conclusions: The results show that almost all students use electronic learning (e-learning) tools. At the same time, different profiles for different degree programs become apparent, which are to be attributed to not only the varying curricula and courses but also to the life circumstances of different age groups. Universities should, therefore, pay attention to the diverse user patterns and media literacy levels of students when planning courses to enable successful use of e-learning methods.

  • Using technology in medical education. Source: iStock by Getty Images; Copyright: Natali_Mis; URL: https://www.istockphoto.com/ca/photo/doctor-shows-a-virtual-hologram-from-your-tablet-gm920013790-252880205; License: Licensed by the authors.

    Microlearning in Health Professions Education: Scoping Review

    Abstract:

    Background: Microlearning, the acquisition of knowledge or skills in the form of small units, is endorsed by health professions educators as a means of facilitating student learning, training, and continuing education, but it is difficult to define in terms of its features and outcomes. Objective: This review aimed to conduct a systematic search of the literature on microlearning in health professions education to identify key concepts, characterize microlearning as an educational strategy, and evaluate pedagogical outcomes experienced by health professions students. Methods: A scoping review was performed using the bibliographic databases PubMed (MEDLINE), CINAHL, Education Resources Information Center, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Education Full Text (HW Wilson), and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. A combination of keywords and subject headings related to microlearning, electronic learning, or just-in-time learning combined with health professions education was used. No date limits were placed on the search, but inclusion was limited to materials published in English. Pedagogical outcomes were evaluated according to the 4-level Kirkpatrick model. Results: A total of 3096 references were retrieved, of which 17 articles were selected after applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Articles that met the criteria were published between 2011 and 2018, and their authors were from a range of countries, including the United States, China, India, Australia, Canada, Iran, Netherlands, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. The 17 studies reviewed included various health-related disciplines, such as medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, and allied health. Although microlearning appeared in a variety of subject areas, different technologies, such as podcast, short messaging service, microblogging, and social networking service, were also used. On the basis of Buchem and Hamelmann’s 10 microlearning concepts, each study satisfied at least 40% of the characteristics, whereas all studies featured concepts of maximum time spent less than 15 min as well as content aggregation. According to our assessment of each article using the Kirkpatrick model, 94% (16/17) assessed student reactions to the microlearning (level 1), 82% (14/17) evaluated knowledge or skill acquisition (level 2), 29% (5/17) measured the effect of the microlearning on student behavior (level 3), and no studies were found at the highest level. Conclusions: Microlearning as an educational strategy has demonstrated a positive effect on the knowledge and confidence of health professions students in performing procedures, retaining knowledge, studying, and engaging in collaborative learning. However, downsides to microlearning include pedagogical discomfort, technology inequalities, and privacy concerns. Future research should look at higher-level outcomes, including benefits to patients or practice changes. The findings of this scoping review will inform education researchers, faculty, and academic administrators on the application of microlearning, pinpoint gaps in the literature, and help identify opportunities for instructional designers and subject matter experts to improve course content in didactic and clinical settings.

  • Students attending an electronic case seminar with free choice of teaching format. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://mededu.jmir.org/2019/2/e13386/; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    The Impact of Medical Students’ Individual Teaching Format Choice on the Learning Outcome Related to Clinical Reasoning

    Abstract:

    Background: Repeated formative assessments using key feature questions have been shown to enhance clinical reasoning. Key feature questions augmented by videos presenting clinical vignettes may be more effective than text-based questions, especially in a setting where medical students are free to choose the format they would like to work with. This study investigated learning outcomes related to clinical reasoning in students using video- or text-based key feature questions according to their individual preferences. Objective: The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that repeated exposure to video-based key feature questions enhances clinical reasoning to a greater extent than repeated exposure to text-based key feature questions if students are allowed to choose between those different formats on their own. Methods: In this monocentric, prospective, nonrandomized trial, fourth-year medical students attended 12 computer-based case seminars during which they worked on case histories containing key feature questions. Cases were available in a text- and a video-based format. Students chose their preferred presentation format at the beginning of each case seminar. Student performance in key feature questions was assessed in formative entry, exit, and retention exams and was analyzed with regard to preceding exposure to video- or text-based case histories. Results: Of 102 eligible students, 75 provided written consent and complete data at all study exams (response rate=73.5%). A majority of students (n=52) predominantly chose the text-based format. Compared with these, students preferring the video-based format achieved a nonsignificantly higher score in the exit exam (mean 76.2% [SD 12.6] vs 70.0% [SD 19.0]; P=.15) and a significantly higher score in the retention exam (mean 75.3% [SD 16.6] vs 63.4% [SD 20.3]; P=.02). The effect was independent of the video- or text-based presentation format, which was set as default in the respective exams. Conclusions: Despite students’ overall preference for text-based case histories, the learning outcome with regard to clinical reasoning was higher in students with higher exposure to video-based items. Time-on-task is one conceivable explanation for these effects as working with video-based items was more time-consuming. The baseline performance levels of students do not account for the results as the preceding summative exam results were comparable across the 2 groups. Given that a substantial number of students chose a presentation format that was less effective, students might need to be briefed about the beneficial effects of using video-based case histories to be able to make informed choices about their study methods.

  • The 9 steps model. Source: The Authors / CanStockPhoto; Copyright: The Authors; URL: https://mededu.jmir.org/2019/2/e13004; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    A 9-Step Theory- and Evidence-Based Postgraduate Medical Digital Education Development Model: Empirical Development and Validation

    Abstract:

    Background: Digital education tools (e-learning, technology-enhanced learning) can be defined as any educational intervention that is electronically mediated. Decveloping and applying such tools and interventions for postgraduate medical professionals who work and learn after graduation can be called postgraduate medical digital education (PGMDE), which is increasingly being used and evaluated. However, evaluation has focused mainly on reaching the learning goals and little on the design. Design models for digital education (instructional design models) help educators create a digital education curriculum, but none have been aimed at PGMDE. Studies show the need for efficient, motivating, useful, and satisfactory digital education. Objective: Our objective was (1) to create an empirical instructional design model for PGMDE founded in evidence and theory, with postgraduate medical professionals who work and learn after graduation as the target audience, and (2) to compare our model with existing models used to evaluate and create PGMDE. Methods: Previously we performed an integrative literature review, focus group discussions, and a Delphi procedure to determine which building blocks for such a model would be relevant according to experts and users. This resulted in 37 relevant items. We then used those 37 items and arranged them into chronological steps. After we created the initial 9-step plan, we compared these steps with other models reported in the literature. Results: The final 9 steps were (1) describe who, why, what, (2) select educational strategies, (3) translate to the real world, (4) choose the technology, (5) complete the team, (6) plan the budget, (7) plan the timing and timeline, (8) implement the project, and (9) evaluate continuously. On comparing this 9-step model with other models, we found that no other was as complete, nor were any of the other models aimed at PGMDE. Conclusions: Our 9-step model is the first, to our knowledge, to be based on evidence and theory building blocks aimed at PGMDE. We have described a complete set of evidence-based steps, expanding a 3-domain model (motivate, learn, and apply) to an instructional design model that can help every educator in creating efficient, motivating, useful, and satisfactory PGMDE. Although certain steps are more robust and have a deeper theoretical background in current research (such as education), others (such as budget) have been barely touched upon and should be investigated more thoroughly in order that proper guidelines may also be provided for them.

  • Student working with the Web-based electrocardiogram learning resource. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: Mikael Nilsson; URL: https://mededu.jmir.org/2019/2/e12791/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Why Medical Students Choose to Use or Not to Use a Web-Based Electrocardiogram Learning Resource: Mixed Methods Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Electrocardiogram (ECG) interpretation is a core competence and can make a significant difference to patient outcomes. However, ECG interpretation is a complex skill to learn, and research has showed that students often lack enough competence. Web-based learning has been shown to be effective. However, little is known regarding why and how students use Web-based learning when offered in a blended learning situation. Objective: The aim of this paper was to study students’ use of Web-based ECG learning resources which has not previously been studied in relation to study strategies. Methods: A qualitative explanatory design using mixed methods was adopted to explore how medical students reason around their choice to use or not to use a Web-based ECG learning resource. Overall, 15 of 33 undergraduate medical students attending a course in clinical medicine were interviewed. Data on usage of the resource were obtained via the learning management system for all students. At the final examination, all the students answered a questionnaire on study strategies and questions about internet access and estimated their own skills in ECG interpretation. Furthermore, study strategies and use patterns were correlated with results from an ECG Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) and a written course examination. Results: In total, 2 themes were central in the students’ reasoning about usage of Web-based ECG: assessment of learning needs and planning according to learning goals. Reasons for using the Web resource were to train in skills, regarding it as a valuable complement to books and lectures. The main reasons for not using the resource were believing they already had good enough skills and a lack of awareness of its availability. Usage data showed that 21 students (63%) used the Web resource. Of these, 11 were minimal users and 10 were major users based on usage activity. Large variations were found in the time spent in different functional parts of the resource. No differences were found between users and nonusers regarding the OSCE score, final examination score, self-estimate of knowledge, or favoring self-regulated learning. Conclusions: To use or not to use a Web-based ECG learning resource is largely based on self-regulated learning aspects. Decisions to use such a resource are based on multifactorial aspects such as experiences during clinical rotations, former study experiences, and perceived learning needs. The students’ own judgment of whether there was a need for a Web-based resource to achieve the learning goals and to pass the examination was crucial for their decisions to use it or not. An increased understanding of students’ regulation of learning and awareness of variations in their ECG learning needs can contribute to the improvement of course design for blended learning of ECG contexts for medical students.

  • Source: Flickr; Copyright: Berkeley Lab; URL: https://www.flickr.com/photos/berkeleylab/4863700123/in/photolist-8pMJAF-amR8XL-87uWSr-dc2t12-9dpJuR-hQc9Rq-DMiHu-4k9E3F-fjNmeX-83cbP7-dgqQmm-8Jhfwq-dPcqJ1-4m5ojv-eenL8S-8UGVJb-23jnPH9-7fYHhY-3apksQ-7SeMmq-7Mi2yv-cHF3VJ-8cx2Mj-ass94X-5WCvsj-2bDkus-8rMqoS-; License: Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND).

    Applications and Challenges of Implementing Artificial Intelligence in Medical Education: Integrative Review

    Abstract:

    Background: Since the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) in 1955, the applications of AI have increased over the years within a rapidly changing digital landscape where public expectations are on the rise, fed by social media, industry leaders, and medical practitioners. However, there has been little interest in AI in medical education until the last two decades, with only a recent increase in the number of publications and citations in the field. To our knowledge, thus far, a limited number of articles have discussed or reviewed the current use of AI in medical education. Objective: This study aims to review the current applications of AI in medical education as well as the challenges of implementing AI in medical education. Methods: Medline (Ovid), EBSCOhost Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) and Education Source, and Web of Science were searched with explicit inclusion and exclusion criteria. Full text of the selected articles was analyzed using the Extension of Technology Acceptance Model and the Diffusions of Innovations theory. Data were subsequently pooled together and analyzed quantitatively. Results: A total of 37 articles were identified. Three primary uses of AI in medical education were identified: learning support (n=32), assessment of students’ learning (n=4), and curriculum review (n=1). The main reasons for use of AI are its ability to provide feedback and a guided learning pathway and to decrease costs. Subgroup analysis revealed that medical undergraduates are the primary target audience for AI use. In addition, 34 articles described the challenges of AI implementation in medical education; two main reasons were identified: difficulty in assessing the effectiveness of AI in medical education and technical challenges while developing AI applications. Conclusions: The primary use of AI in medical education was for learning support mainly due to its ability to provide individualized feedback. Little emphasis was placed on curriculum review and assessment of students’ learning due to the lack of digitalization and sensitive nature of examinations, respectively. Big data manipulation also warrants the need to ensure data integrity. Methodological improvements are required to increase AI adoption by addressing the technical difficulties of creating an AI application and using novel methods to assess the effectiveness of AI. To better integrate AI into the medical profession, measures should be taken to introduce AI into the medical school curriculum for medical professionals to better understand AI algorithms and maximize its use.

  • The airRX app (montage). Source: The Authors / Placeit; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL: https://mededu.jmir.org/2019/1/e10955; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Impact of an Electronic App on Resident Responses to Simulated In-Flight Medical Emergencies: Randomized Controlled Trial

    Abstract:

    Background: Health care providers are often called to respond to in-flight medical emergencies, but lack familiarity with expected supplies, interventions, and ground medical control support. Objective: The objective of this study was to determine whether a mobile phone app (airRx) improves responses to simulated in-flight medical emergencies. Methods: This was a randomized study of volunteer, nonemergency resident physician participants who managed simulated in-flight medical emergencies with or without the app. Simulations took place in a mock-up cabin in the simulation center. Standardized participants played the patient, family member, and flight attendant roles. Live, nonblinded rating was used with occasional video review for data clarification. Participants participated in two simulated in-flight medical emergencies (shortness of breath and syncope) and were evaluated with checklists and global rating scales (GRS). Checklist item success rates, key critical action times, GRS, and pre-post simulation confidence in managing in-flight medical emergencies were compared. Results: There were 29 participants in each arm (app vs control; N=58) of the study. Mean percentages of completed checklist items for the app versus control groups were mean 56.1 (SD 10.3) versus mean 49.4 (SD 7.4) for shortness of breath (P=.001) and mean 58 (SD 8.1) versus mean 49.8 (SD 7.0) for syncope (P<.001). The GRS improved with the app for the syncope case (mean 3.14, SD 0.89 versus control mean 2.6, SD 0.97; P=.003), but not the shortness of breath case (mean 2.90, SD 0.97 versus control mean 2.81, SD 0.80; P=.43). For timed checklist items, the app group contacted ground support faster for both cases, but the control group was faster to complete vitals and basic exam. Both groups indicated higher confidence in their postsimulation surveys, but the app group demonstrated a greater increase in this measure. Conclusions: Use of the airRx app prompted some actions, but delayed others. Simulated performance and feedback suggest the app is a useful adjunct for managing in-flight medical emergencies.

  • A physical therapist reading the latest evidence-based articles. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL: https://mededu.jmir.org/2019/1/e12795; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Evidence-Based Physical Therapy Practice in the State of Kuwait: A Survey of Attitudes, Beliefs, Knowledge, Skills, and Barriers

    Abstract:

    Background: Evidence-based practice (EBP) is necessary to improve the practice of physical therapy. However, a lack of knowledge and skills among physical therapists and the presence of barriers may hinder the implementation of EBP in the State of Kuwait. Objective: The objectives of this study were to extensively (1) investigate attitudes toward EBP, (2) assess the current level of knowledge and skills necessary for EBP, and (3) identify the barriers to EBP among physical therapists in the State of Kuwait. Methods: The following methods were used: (1) a previously validated self-reported questionnaire and (2) a face-to-face semistructured interview. The questionnaire, which was distributed to 200 physical therapists, examined the attitudes and beliefs of physical therapists about EBP; the interest in and motivation to engage in EBP; educational background, knowledge, and skills related to accessing and interpreting information; the level of attention to and use of the literature; access to and availability of information to promote EBP; and the perceived barriers to using EBP. The interview explored the factors that promote or discourage EBP. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analyses were used. Results: Of the 200 nonrandomly distributed questionnaires, 92% (184/200) were completed and returned. In general, the physical therapists had positive attitudes, beliefs, and interests in EBP. Their educational background, knowledge, and skills related to assessing and interpreting information were well-founded. The top 3 barriers included insufficient time (59.2%, 109/184), lack of information resources (49.4%, 91/184), and inapplicability of the research findings to the patient population (40.7%, 75/184). Conclusions: EBP lacks support from superiors at work. Thus, identifying methods and strategies to support physical therapists in adopting EBP in the State of Kuwait is necessary.

  • YouTube videos about immunology for medical students. Source: The Authors / Placeit; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://mededu.jmir.org/2019/1/e12605/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    YouTube Videos as a Source of Information About Immunology for Medical Students: Cross-Sectional Study

    Abstract:

    Background: The use of the internet as a source of information has grown exponentially in the last decade. YouTube is currently the second most visited website and a major Web-based educational resource for medical students. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the quality, accuracy, and attractiveness of the information acquired from YouTube videos about 2 central concepts in immunology. Methods: YouTube videos posted before August 27, 2018 were searched using selected keywords related to either antigen presentation or immunoglobulin gene rearrangement. Video characteristics were recorded, and the Video Power Index (VPI) was calculated. Videos were assessed using 5 validated scoring systems: understandability and attractiveness, reliability, content and comprehensiveness, global quality score (GQS), and a subjective score. Videos were categorized by educational usefulness and by source. Results: A total of 82 videos about antigen presentation and 70 about immunoglobulin gene rearrangement were analyzed. Videos had a mean understandability and attractiveness score of 6.57/8 and 5.84/8, content and comprehensiveness score of 9.84/20 and 5.84/20, reliability score of 1.65/4 and 1.53/4, GQS of 3.38/5 and 2.76/5, and subjective score of 2.00/3 and 2.00/3, respectively. The organized channels group tended to have the highest VPI and GQS. Conclusions: YouTube can provide medical students with some useful information about immunology, although content wise it cannot substitute textbooks and academic courses. Students and teachers should be aware of the educational quality of available videos if they intend to use them in the context of blended learning.

  • Source: Freepik; Copyright: yanalya; URL: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/thoughtful-man-thinking-new-idea-writing-notes-cafe_3955478.htm; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Development and Evaluation of the Online Addiction Medicine Certificate: Free Novel Program in a Canadian Setting

    Abstract:

    Background: Despite the enormous bur­den of disease attributable to drug and alcohol addiction, there remain major challenges in implementing evi­dence-based addiction care and treatment modalities. This is partly because of a persistent lack of accessible, specialized training in addiction medicine. In response, a new online certificate in addiction medicine has been established in Vancouver, Canada, free of charge to participants globally. Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate and examine changes in knowledge acquisition among health care professionals before and after the completion of an online certificate in addiction medicine. Methods: Learners enrolled in a 17-module certificate program and completed pre- and postknowledge tests using online multiple-choice questionnaires. Knowledge acquisition was then evaluated using a repeated measures t test of mean test scores before and after the online course. Following the certificate completion, a subset of learners completed the online course evaluation form. Results: Of the total 6985 participants who registered for the online course between May 15, 2017 and February 22, 2018, 3466 (49.62%) completed the online pretest questionnaire. A total of 1010 participants completed the full course, achieving the required 70% scores. TThe participants self-reported working in a broad range of health-related fields, including nursing (n=371), medicine (n=92), counseling or social work (n=69), community health (n=44), and pharmacy (n=34). The median graduation year was 2010 (n=363, interquartile range 2002-2015). Knowledge of the addiction medicine increased significantly postcertificate (mean difference 28.21; 95% CI 27.32 to 29.10; P<.001). Physicians scored significantly higher on the pretest than any other health discipline, whereas the greatest improvement in scores was seen in the counseling professions and community outreach. Conclusions: This free, online, open-access certificate in addiction medicine appeared to improve knowledge of learners from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. Scaling up low threshold learning opportunities may further advance addiction medicine training, thereby helping to narrow the evidence-to-practice gap.

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    Date Submitted: Sep 2, 2019

    Open Peer Review Period: Sep 2, 2019 - Nov 2, 2019

    Background: Neuroanatomy is a complex and fascinating subject that is often a daunting prospect for medical students. In fact, the fear of learning neuroanatomy has gained its own name – “neuropho...

    Background: Neuroanatomy is a complex and fascinating subject that is often a daunting prospect for medical students. In fact, the fear of learning neuroanatomy has gained its own name – “neurophobia”. Objective: To tackle “neurophobia” by summarising twelve tips for dynamic and engaging neuroanatomy teaching. Methods: Tips were formulated based on our experiences as three senior medical students and evidence-based techniques. Results: The 12 tips are (1) Big concepts before fine detail, (2) Draw an annotated diagram, (3) Teach form and function together, (4) Group anatomy into systems, (5) Teach the vasculature, (6) Familiarise students with neuroimaging, (7) Use dissections for haptic learning, (8) Teach from clinical cases, (9) Build from first principles, (10) Try working in reverse, (11) Let the student become the teacher, (12) Let the student become the examiner. Conclusions: These 12 tips can be used by teachers and students alike to provide a high-yield learning experience.

  • Patient-centred medicine: The use of expert patients in medical education

    Date Submitted: Aug 25, 2019

    Open Peer Review Period: Aug 25, 2019 - Oct 20, 2019

    Abstract Patient-centred medicine (PCM) involves looking at more than just a disease and how to treat it. It has evolved from the realisation that all patients are different physiologically, psycho...

    Abstract Patient-centred medicine (PCM) involves looking at more than just a disease and how to treat it. It has evolved from the realisation that all patients are different physiologically, psychologically, emotionally, and socially, and it therefore encompasses all of these domains in its application. The mainstay of this approach is the promotion of a mutual relationship between patient and doctor that involves creating a secure environment to allow for open dialogue. By learning to listen to patients, and exploring other causes of disease other than physiological ones, doctors are able to provide a holistic approach to treatment. Patients are also actively encouraged to participate in the decision making process by adding their ideas, concerns and expectations. This negotiation allows for flexibility and individualisation of each treatment plan that is tailored to suit each individual patient. In essence, PCM encourages concordance: the agreement between doctor and patient on how to proceed towards a common goal. It is therefore important to teach medical students about PCM as early on in their medical education as possible. This will give them time to hone skills in communication so that they can better understand and explore their patient’s circumstances as well be aware of other domains that may require support. But how can medical schools effectively teach their students PCM? Here we suggest the use of expert patients as a beneficial method for promoting PCM in medical school curriculums as students have the opportunity to gain first hand knowledge of what a patient with a specific disease actually feels, what impact it has on their lives and those around them, and what support they find lacking or useful. Encourage medical curriculums to incorporate expert patients as a resource of information to teach future doctors abotu patient-centred medicine and its holistic objectives.

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