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Early introduction of clinical skills in the pre-clinical phase of an integrated medical curriculum

Krishnan Thantry Anita Devi, Kadir Samiah Yasmin, Neelakantan Viswanathan.

The mastery of clinical skills is crucial in acquiring clinical proficiency among medical students. Early introduction of clinical skills has been found to be beneficial since these skills may take significant time to develop. Early introduction of these skills would likely facilitate the integration of clinical and basic science knowledge. The clinical skills curriculum was implemented in the last block of Year one in our medical school with main thrust on basic history taking skills and examination of the major body systems. Various methods of teaching were used which included audio-visuals, role play, examination of manikins and examination on peers. The students showed a keen interest in acquiring clinical skills. The students were assessed using an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). The students performed well in the OSCE examination especially in the skills section. The feed back obtained as part of the end of block reflections and a questionnaire based survey, was very encouraging.

Key words: Clinical skills, Undergraduate medical education, Early Introduction, Block four, Year 1, early clinical exposure, communication skills, history taking, vital signs , basic system examination, student feedback, Objective Structured Clinical examination (O

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