March 5, 2010
This issue of PEP Talk continues our curriculum series, as we feature the Community of Practice (CoP) portion of the Practice of Medicine (P-1 & P-2) modules in the first and second year of the curriculum. This year in the P-1 module, first-year students develop physical-examination and communication skills. The P-2 module enhances these skills by preparing students for clinical problems in medicine, such as patient interaction, ethical, medico-socioeconomic and end-of-life issues.
In P-1 and P-2, students use the Clinical Skills and Simulation Center to examine standardized and actual patients. They also use simulation modalities, allowing them to gain confidence and competence prior to beginning their clinical years. The program emphasizes communication – with patients, other healthcare providers and the community at large.
The Community of Practice component is integrated within the Practice of Medicine as students work with preceptors throughout the Central Florida medical community, expanding their experiences from simulated to clinical patients in a manner fully correlated with the curriculum of the first and second year.
At least twice a month, for half a day, students work with community preceptors in a variety of settings including primary care, specialty practices and hospital-based practices. These clinical experiences allow students the opportunity to apply their studies to real patients as they practice history-taking, examination and recording skills with an emphasis on empathy and professional integrity.
Valuable Community Support
This year, our 41 students have been working with many of you who have been their preceptors for CoP in P-1. You have been vital in helping the students develop skills essential for the physician-patient relationship.
During our inaugural year, we have received valuable feedback through our community preceptors’ evaluations of students. The following comments reflect the enthusiastic welcome our community has shown our first-year students:
“This first-year medical student is doing great! She is eager to learn, patients love her, and she is progressing nicely in her education, confidence and learning. She is a credit to the first UCF class!”
“Having a first-year student in my office has reignited my interest in teaching and enriched my practice. I would be happy to have an additional student in my practice.”
Furthermore, our students have reported:
“I have learned a tremendous amount from my preceptor and feel I am making progress communicating and developing rapport in a variety of patient situations. My preceptors’ patients love him, and I look forward to every session.”
“Today it all came together. We learned about the musculoskeletal system and how to read skeletal images in HB-2, and a patient came to my preceptor’s practice with an injured ankle. I was able to read the x-ray with my preceptor. What a great day of integration!”
Thank you, preceptors
We are now scheduling Charter class students for their clinical rotations for the second-year P-2/CoP-2 module. This year-long module will help students further develop essential communication, examination, recording and reporting skills with an emphasis on the underlying psycho-social, medico-legal, cultural and diversity factors which impact the physician-patient relationship. Second-year students will begin developing assessments and treatment plans in conjunction with instruction received in their organ-system modules and in the Clinical Skills and Simulation Center.
Our volunteer faculty members can make a real impact and help shape our medical students’ education with a preceptorship in our Community of Practice module.
If you would like to participate as a preceptor for the upcoming academic year beginning this August, please respond to Morayma Cubero, at 407-823-0333 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dick “PEP” Peppler, Ph.D.