Research by Snow et al came out today that looks at how patient stories can improve medical education. It shows that students can get better grades in their clinical skills exams when they have seen patients share their experiences.
The study compares two groups of students who took an online course about the colposcopy, a procedure for checking the cervix. One group saw healthtalk.org videos of patients talking about the procedure whilst the other saw a doctor’s description of it.
All students took a questionnaire as well as a roleplay test with a pretend patient. The roleplay is known in medical education as the Objective Structured Clinical Examination or OSCE. The OSCE tests medical students’ consultation skills and interpersonal skills with patients.
In comparison with students who saw the video of the doctor, the group that watched patient videos did significantly better on the OSCE. They also said that they felt more confident about showing empathy to the patient.
To sum up, using healthtalk.org patient videos in medical education can help medical undergraduates get better results in their OSCEs. Although it may seem obvious that patient stories should be used in medical education, this study provides the first evidence that they can make a tangible difference to learning.
The use of healthtalk.org in medical education.
On healthtalk.org you can find more than 20,000 videos of patients talking about their health experiences. The site offers accounts of hundreds of health issues as well as descriptions of consultations with health professionals. Though the public is our biggest audience, educators all over the world use the website for:
- Allied health professions
- Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education in Schools
- Social work
- And many more professions that work with the public.
Not only is our library of materials extensive
Read the full research study article: Rosamund Snow, Joanna Crocker, Katherine Talbot, Jane Moore & Helen Salisbury (2016) Does hearing the patient perspective improve consultation skills in examinations? An exploratory randomized controlled trial in medical undergraduate education, Medical Teacher, 38:12,1229-1235