Authors' Affiliations

Amy Patterson, Department of Biomedical Sciences, ETSU Quillen College of Medicine, Johnson City, TN. Autumn LaRocque, Department of Biomedical Sciences, ETSU Quillen College of Medicine, Johnson City, TN. Abigail Holt, Department of Biomedical Sciences, ETSU Quillen College of Medicine, Johnson City, TN. Heather Grubbs, Department of Biomedical Sciences, ETSU Quillen College of Medicine, Johnson City, TN. Rob Becker, Department of Biomedical Sciences, ETSU Quillen College of Medicine, Johnson City, TN. Arielle Schreck, MD, Department of OB/GYN, ETSU Quillen College of Medicine, Johnson City, TN. Caroline Abercrombie, MD, Department of Biomedical Sciences, ETSU Quillen College of Medicine, Johnson City, TN.

Faculty Sponsor’s Department

Biomedical Sciences

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Caroline Abercrombie

Type

Poster: Competitive

Classification of First Author

Medical Student

Project's Category

Reproductive System

Abstract Text

At the Quillen College of Medicine, first year medical students are taught how to perform the female pelvic exam as part of the “Introduction to Physical Exam” course. Our previous research has found that students feel more confident and report a higher level of perceived transferability to live patients when learning the pelvic exam on soft-embalmed donors in comparison to low-fidelity mannequins. Our goal in this project was to incorporate soft-embalmed donors into the curriculum of first year medical students, making this teaching method available to all students, and objectively assess their skills as well as their retention. During the “Introduction to Physical Exam” course, high fidelity soft embalmed donors were available for students to practice the female pelvic exam with instruction from attending physicians. After learning exam techniques, all 67 students were given a survey to assess their confidence, perceived transferability, and preference for either soft embalmed donors or mannequins. They were also invited back the following week to assess their short term retention and ability to accurately perform the pelvic exam, with the option of using communication skills learned elsewhere in the ETSU curriculum. Thirteen students returned for this follow-up session and completed surveys to reassess their experience. We plan to follow this cohort of students throughout their medical school career to assess long term retention. All return participants felt they retained the pelvic exam knowledge learned the week prior, with 61.54% agreeing, and 38.46% strongly agreeing. Most felt prepared to now do a pelvic exam on a live patient (53.85% agreed, 38.46% strongly agreed). Students also reported that feedback on their communication and procedural skills was beneficial to the learning process. The use of high fidelity soft embalmed donors in medical education provides students with a realistic model to learn and become confident in performing pelvic exams. We have seen that this education model helps them retain their knowledge on pelvic exam technique. We look forward to following this cohort of students to see if this retention of knowledge persists into their third year of medical school.

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Evaluating the Effectiveness of Using Thiel Soft-Embalmed Donors to Teach the Female Pelvic Exam to Medical Students

At the Quillen College of Medicine, first year medical students are taught how to perform the female pelvic exam as part of the “Introduction to Physical Exam” course. Our previous research has found that students feel more confident and report a higher level of perceived transferability to live patients when learning the pelvic exam on soft-embalmed donors in comparison to low-fidelity mannequins. Our goal in this project was to incorporate soft-embalmed donors into the curriculum of first year medical students, making this teaching method available to all students, and objectively assess their skills as well as their retention. During the “Introduction to Physical Exam” course, high fidelity soft embalmed donors were available for students to practice the female pelvic exam with instruction from attending physicians. After learning exam techniques, all 67 students were given a survey to assess their confidence, perceived transferability, and preference for either soft embalmed donors or mannequins. They were also invited back the following week to assess their short term retention and ability to accurately perform the pelvic exam, with the option of using communication skills learned elsewhere in the ETSU curriculum. Thirteen students returned for this follow-up session and completed surveys to reassess their experience. We plan to follow this cohort of students throughout their medical school career to assess long term retention. All return participants felt they retained the pelvic exam knowledge learned the week prior, with 61.54% agreeing, and 38.46% strongly agreeing. Most felt prepared to now do a pelvic exam on a live patient (53.85% agreed, 38.46% strongly agreed). Students also reported that feedback on their communication and procedural skills was beneficial to the learning process. The use of high fidelity soft embalmed donors in medical education provides students with a realistic model to learn and become confident in performing pelvic exams. We have seen that this education model helps them retain their knowledge on pelvic exam technique. We look forward to following this cohort of students to see if this retention of knowledge persists into their third year of medical school.