Session Type: Poster Session D
Session Time: 9:00AM-11:00AM
Background/Purpose: Medical education can be enriched by embracing patient involvement so that students can learn about rheumatic diseases (RMD) from patient experts. Patient experts have developed an expertise in their chronic disease by living with it, acquiring knowledge from courses and being empowered with the skills, needed to play an active role in teaching other patients and healthcare providers. In order to enhance students’ knowledge about rheumatic diseases , improve their listening and communication skills, the Cyprus League Against Rheumatism in collaboration with University of Cyprus Medical School initiated a pilot, novel interactive educational activity. The objective of this study is to obtain feedback from the students about the program in order to assess the impact on the students’ education and evaluate its integration in the school’s curriculum
Methods: During the internal medicine rotation in year 4, the medical students had the opportunity to participate in a 2-hour session with a trained rheumatic disease patient expert. Each group comprised of 5 students, one attending rheumatologist and one patient expert. Through the session, the students had the opportunity to listen to the patient’s journey, learn about symptoms and emotions, and were able to share thoughts and ask questions. The patient expert also demonstrated the hand musculoskeletal exam and students had the opportunity to practice with the patient and receive feedback. At the end of the academic year, an online survey was sent to 88 students by email and they were asked to fill out a 19-item question evaluation using a Likert-scale response and a free text comments section to assess the program.
Results: The voluntary response rate was 59 (67%) and 38(64,4%) were females. Overall, most of the participants had a favorable experience with the program (strongly agree/agree response on the Likert scale response), as shown in the Table. Fifty-four (93.1%) were satisfied with the communication they had with the patient, 55 (93.2%) felt the patient was active in their teaching, and engage them in meaningful learning, 53(89.8%).
Lower satisfaction was reported in the improvement of communication skills (n=41, 69%) and the hand and wrist anatomy presentation (n=39, 66%), however, 49(83%) of students were satisfied with the hand and wrist examination. Forty-five (76.3%) believe that the program helped them grow as professionals. The vast majority, 53(89%) of the students would recommend the program to their fellow students and they strongly believe that it should be a part of the medical school’s curriculum (n=53, 89%).
Conclusion: The patient expert program is a novel educational activity that has a positive impact on medical students’ education including enhanced communication skills, and professional growth. The students would recommend it to their peers and they also believe it should be integrated into the school’s curriculum. The program’s implementation will raise awareness for RMD, might attract more students in the field of rheumatology, and promote the patient-centered care approach.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Sophocleous E, Phoka A, Parperis K. Curricular Implementation of the Rheumatic Disease Patient Expert Program: The Students’ Perspective [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2020; 72 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/curricular-implementation-of-the-rheumatic-disease-patient-expert-program-the-students-perspective/. Accessed October 19, 2021.
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ACR Meeting Abstracts - https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/curricular-implementation-of-the-rheumatic-disease-patient-expert-program-the-students-perspective/