Acute medicine teaching in an undergraduate medical curriculum: a blended learning approach

I M Shah, M R Walters, J H McKillop
Emergency Medicine Journal: EMJ 2008, 25 (6): 354-7

BACKGROUND: Acute medical management is an important component of the Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) project which has recently been implemented in the UK. A web-based interactive course in acute medicine has been developed which complements the clinical teaching provided to senior medical students at the University of Glasgow. A study was undertaken to evaluate the teaching and assess the knowledge of acute medicine among final year medical students using an online questionnaire.

METHODS: The undergraduate medical school Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) was constructed using the Moodle learning management system. The online questionnaire was constructed as part of the interactive acute medicine course hosted on the VLE. Final year students using this course were asked to complete the questionnaire anonymously. A 5-point Likert scale was used to assess different aspects of acute medical management and evaluate the teaching.

RESULTS: From 210 students using the website, 99 (47.1%) completed the online questionnaire. Nephrology and neurology were identified as the most challenging specialties in acute medicine. The areas of acute management in which students felt they lacked most knowledge were drug overdose and acute renal failure. Drug prescribing was also identified as an area of the curriculum requiring further development.

CONCLUSIONS: This approach to blended learning is popular with our medical students. Online evaluation has helped with curriculum development and, by identifying important areas of acute medicine teaching that can be improved, is feeding into our curriculum revision.

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