Early musculoskeletal classroom education confers little advantage to medical student knowledge and competency in the absence of clinical experiences: a retrospective comparison study
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Orthopaed Surg
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherBIOMED CENTRAL LTD
CitationKhorsand, D., Khwaja, A., & Schmale, G. A. (2018). Early musculoskeletal classroom education confers little advantage to medical student knowledge and competency in the absence of clinical experiences: a retrospective comparison study. BMC medical education, 18(1), 46.
JournalBMC MEDICAL EDUCATION
Rights© The Author(s). 2018 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AbstractBackground: Deficiencies in medical student knowledge in musculoskeletal medicine have been well documented. To address these deficiencies, numerous curricular changes at our institution were instituted. The objective of this study was to determine whether medical students in their preclinical years benefit from early exposure to musculoskeletal medicine when compared to students exposed to musculoskeletal medicine just prior to completion of their preclinical curriculum. Methods: United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 and 2 scores were compared for periods of time before and after institution of the new curriculum. Scores on the previously validated 24-question short answer survey from Freedman and Bernstein were also compared over these same periods of time between these two groups and to established standards for competency, using a student's two-tailed unpaired t-test for significance. Entering Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores were used to compare baseline preparation of students. Results: Overall USMLE scores as well as scores on the USMLE subtest on Musculoskeletal, Skin and Connective Tissue Disease showed no improvement when scores were compared between the two groups of students. There was a statistically significant lower performance on the Freedman and Bernstein knowledge assessment exam for students in the new pre-clinical curriculum as compared to those introduced under the old model, considering both musculoskeletal knowledge (p < 0.001) and proficiency (p < 0.01), though the response rate on the recent survey was low (112/986 or 11%). Spine remained the least understood sub-topic, while a dedicated course in rheumatology likely contributed to increased student knowledge in that area. Additional exposure to musculoskeletal topics during the clinical years increased student knowledge. There was no difference between groups when comparing entering MCAT scores. Conclusions: Classroom curricular changes, including moving the introductory musculoskeletal course to the first year, intended to optimize musculoskeletal medicine education in the pre-clinical years of medical school did not appear to improve student musculoskeletal knowledge at any year of training. Further efforts to improve the education of medical students in musculoskeletal medicine should be directed towards providing more clinical experiences with patients having musculoskeletal concerns. This was a retrospective comparative study, level III evidence.
NoteOpen Access journal.
VersionFinal published version
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