Effects of reflection and immediate feedback to improve clinical reasoning of medical students in the assessment of dermatologic conditions: A randomised controlled trial

Sungjun Choi, Sohee Oh, Dong Hun Lee, Hyun Sun Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: There are few studies that directly compared different interventions to improve medical students' clinical reasoning for dermatologic conditions. Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of adding practice with reflection and immediate feedback on traditional dermatology electives in improving medical students' ability in evaluating skin lesions. Methods: The participants were fourth-year medical students of Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea, who were enrolled to take a 2-week dermatology elective course (n = 87). Students were assigned to one of the three educational interventions: 2-h training involving 10 written clinical cases (experimental); 1-h lecture and 1-h outpatient clinic (lecture); and 2-h outpatient clinic (no intervention). Before and at the end of rotation, diagnostic accuracy was estimated using 20 written clinical cases with photographs (10 novel cases presented in diagnostic training [training set], 10 cases with diagnoses not included in training [control set]). Results: There was a significant interaction effect of intervention×set×time. A post hoc analysis indicated that the students in the experimental group outperformed students in the other two groups only in the training set of the final tests; after completing the 2-week rotation, for the training set, the mean score was higher in the experimental group (7.5 ± 1.3) than in the lecture (5.7 ± 1.6) and no intervention (5.6 ± 1.3) groups, producing an effect size of 1.2 standard deviation (SD) and 1.5 SD, respectively. Conclusion: Practicing written clinical cases with reflection and feedback is superior to a lecture-based approach and yields additional benefits to a dermatology elective, thereby enhancing medical students' ability to accurately diagnose skin lesions. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03472001. Registered 21 March 2018.

Original languageEnglish
Article number146
JournalBMC Medical Education
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 8 May 2020

Keywords

  • Clinical reasoning
  • Dermatology elective
  • Feedback
  • Medication education
  • Reflection

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