Oral Presentations - Curriculum 1

Moderated by Claudio Cortes
Session Coordinator: Marta Korytkowska

Presentation 1 - Let's Talk About Research! Should Undergraduate Research Education be an Option in Medical Curricula?
Kosha Gala    
International Federation of Medical Students' Associations

The International Federation of Medical Students' Associations firmly believes that research education should be accessible and available to medical students globally. Despite the demonstrated benefits of research, several studies have shown that medical education systems don't acknowledge the same. On that note, the IFMSA established a working group to analyze the inclusion of research in medical curricula globally and create a toolkit as an advocacy tool.

In 2022, the working group developed an updated version of IFMSA's 2019 global assessment to assess Medical students' knowledge, perceptions, and experience with undergraduate research, additionally highlighting the level of research integration in their medical curricula. We worked in two streams; the first concentrated on updating the global assessment, while the second was responsible for developing a manual titled "A Medical Student's Guide to Research in the field of Medical Education". By January 2023, we intend to analyze the data from our recent survey to be presented at the IAMSE 2023 conference. 

The first survey in 2019 showed that although 98% of students think that research is essential in medical education, only 19.7% believe that research is sufficiently addressed in their curricula. The results of the 2022 survey will be analyzed and further compared with the results from 2019 to be published by January 2023 in time for the IAMSE 2023 conference. 

IFMSA advocates for meaningful student involvement in medical education and promotes research education as a critical step in advocating change. Our primary survey results suggest that medical education systems should be encouraged to integrate research into their core curricula. Students perceived that their research experiences contributed to their career progression, helped them to define their career paths, and provided an opportunity to integrate and apply their knowledge into their practice.

Presentation 2 - The Use of Humanities and Art to Narrow the Gap Between Science and Society in Biomedical Students
Nelleke Gruis    
Leiden University Medical Center

Society's belief in science is declining. In our biomedical science education, we aim to educate future scientists to become critical members of society, able to understand and decrease the gap between science and society. In order to do so we have developed a humanities program, including art, in our first-year biomedical science curriculum. Students bring forward actual biomedical topics that could raise questions or resistance in society. Groups of 14 students select a topic and work on it for seven months. The end products are a critical report on the introduction of the invention in society, a piece of art, and a presentation. The report must focus on the ethical and societal aspects of the invention and should assess the impact on humans, society and the environment. It is peer-reviewed by fellow students and presented to an actual Dutch council that judges which interventions are for the good of society. Students also select a work of art with the aim to help them raise critical questions about their biomedical invention. This work of art is discussed in the presentation to representatives of society, initiating the debate about further introduction of the biomedical intervention. 

A dataset of written student materials (Student Evaluations, reflections and feedback), drawn from the academic years 2017-2022, was analyzed. 

Students became more acquainted with ethical and social aspects of biomedical inventions. The program made students more aware of the impact that biomedical inventions can have on society. Using art as communication and reflection tool appeared to be relatively difficult. 

Humanities education facilitates students to be more aware that critical reflection on their inventions, including debate with stakeholders in society, is crucial for acceptance.

Presentation 3 - Development of a Curriculum in Cultural Humility
Brooke Hooper    
Eastern Virginia Medical School

Effective strategies for incorporating training and feedback on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of cultural humility in the health professions is needed. The development of curriculum and assessment tools for cultural humility training in a medical education program is described. 

A working group of key stakeholders including educators, standardized patients, community members, physicians, and students was formed to develop a 4 year cultural humility curriculum for use in medical education. Cultural humility was first defined based on group consensus. Four key learning objectives were identified based on the definition. Lectures, small groups, and self-directed learning sessions related to the cultural humility objectives were identified, modified, or developed. Assessment instruments were developed using modified Delphi methodology and focus groups to develop a multiple-choice question quiz, a standardized patient educator checklist, and a survey to assess values and attitudes about the perceived importance of cultural humility in patient care. 

Sixteen faculty members completed faculty development consisting of modules on teaching and role modeling cultural humility in the classroom. The first cohort of 150 MD students completed a cultural humility promise statement at orientation. A multiple-choice question quiz on cultural humility showed item discrimination and focus areas for curriculum development. Students participated in 6 standardized-patient encounters with a cultural humility elements checklist, including standardized patient responses to "I felt respected, valued, and heard." A baseline survey demonstrated that 12.5% of this initial cohort had no opinion about "valuing diversity" in patient care prior to engagement in this curriculum. The survey will be repeated at the end of the 4 year curriculum. 

Cultural humility is an important quality that is difficult to define, teach, and assess. A working group of diverse stakeholders developed a process for the development of a cultural humility curriculum and assessment tools for use in health professions education.

Presentation 4 - Improving Knowledge and Attitudes About Mental Health Through a Suicide Prevention Thread in the Pre-Clerkship Medical Curriculum
Kirsten A. Porter-Stransky    
Western Michigan University Homer Styrker M.D. School of Medicine

Nearly half of people who die from suicide interact with the healthcare system within the month prior to their death, yet many health care providers are uncomfortable screening patients for suicidal ideation. Less than half of surveyed general practitioners received formal training on suicide risk assessment. Unfortunately, mental health conditions remain stigmatized, with some health care providers perpetuating stigmatizing attitudes about depression and suicide. There is an urgent need for better training on suicide prevention within health professions education. 

Following input from a multi-disciplinary team, a thread on suicide prevention was created and implemented for second-year medical students and weaved throughout a 4-week Behavioral Science course at an allopathic medical school. This curriculum included asynchronous independent learning, lectures, case-based learning, team-based learning, and a standardized patient encounter in the stimulation center. To evaluate the effectiveness of this novel curriculum, learners were invited to complete pre-course and post-course mixed-methods surveys, including the previously validated Revised Depression Attitude Questionnaire (R-DAQ), probing knowledge and attitudes of mental health and suicide. Data were analyzed with ANOVAs and descriptive statistics. This study was approved by our Institutional Review Board. 

All second-year medical students completed this new curricular thread, and over half the class participated in the surveys. Following training, students' R-DAQ scores significantly improved. Analysis of the sub-scales within the R-DAQ showed increases in professional confidence in managing depression and therapeutic optimism about patient's recovery, including decreasing stigmatizing attitudes.

Rather than having stand-alone events on mental health or suicide, developing a thread with multiple teaching modalities facilitated repetition and integration with patient care. The present study demonstrates that this method is effective in not only teaching learners about mental health but also improving their attitudes about depression and suicide. This model could be implemented in other health professions education.

Date & Time
Monday, June 12, 2023, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM
Location Name
JW - Uxmal I&II