FS: Are the biomedical sciences really necessary? How medical students use the biomedical sciences
Date & Time
Tuesday, June 15, 2021, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

The purpose of this focus session is to facilitate a deeper understanding of how medical students utilize the biomedical science knowledge learned in the preclinical curriculum to solve clinical problems encountered in their clerkships. In a recent study, we asked students entering the family and community medicine clerkship rotation at our institution to write brief reflective essays in response to the prompt: How is biomedical knowledge relevant to clinical medicine? Mid-clerkship, the students selected a patient encounter and completed a reflective writing assignment designed using the principles of Kolb's experiential learning theory as an organizing framework. A directed content analysis was used interpret meaning from student reflections through the lenses of knowledge encapsulation theory and illness script theory. Student-generated learning objectives written during the mid-clerkship assignment were analyzed for the basic science discipline they addressed, the knowledge and cognitive domains of Anderson and Krathwohl's revision of Bloom's taxonomy, and for illness script domains.

The objectives of this focus session are to:

  1. Reflect on the relevance of biomedical science concepts to clinical care and patient management decisions.
  2. Enable attendees to share how their institutions address the application of biomedical science knowledge in clerkships.
  3. Enable attendees to share how their institutions educate students about the cognitive processes of knowledge encapsulation and illness script formation.
  4. Discuss the role of writing basic science learning objectives as a technique to help students identify and fill knowledge gaps. 
Bonny Dickinson Kristine Gibson Lisa Graves Kirsten Porter-Stransky Edwina Smith