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We describe the establishment and evaluation of a career-based mentoring scheme (PsychStart) for medical students interested in psychiatry. Medical students reported multiple benefits of mentoring, including enhanced personal and professional development, increased career and clinical knowledge, and broadened exposure to psychiatry. The mentoring scheme was also found to promote and sustain interest in the specialty. Further evaluation is required to determine the long-term effects of mentoring and how this may compare with other undergraduate enrichment activities. We conclude that mentoring in psychiatry could offer innovative solutions for improving recruitment and retention, and for supporting and valuing medical students who demonstrate an early interest in the specialty.
In this time of Covid-19, life in healthcare has changed immeasurably. It has rapidly been injected with an ‘all hands-on deck’ approach, to facilitate the necessary adaptations required to reduce the spread of the virus and deliver frontline clinical care. Inevitably aspects of these changes have disrupted the delivery of medical education, notably clinical placements have been cancelled and social distancing guidelines prohibit face-to-face teaching. The training of future doctors is an essential part of this effort. Indeed, the emergence of a global health threat has underlined its continued importance. For medical educators and students alike, we have been presented with a challenge. Concurrently, this presents us with an impetus and opportunity for innovation. For some time now, a transformation in medical education has been called for, with an increasing recognition of the need to prepare students for the changing landscape of healthcare systems. This has included a focus on the use of technology-enhanced and self-directed learning. As a team of educators and clinicians in psychiatry, working in the School of Medicine and Medical Sciences (SMMS) in University College Dublin (UCD), we will share how we have responded. We outline the adaptations made to our ‘Psychiatry’ module and consider the influence this may have on its future delivery. These changes were informed by direct student input.
The smartphone microscope, or mobile microscope, is an interesting tool that is attracting attention in various fields. We report a model of mobile microscope that extends from the Leeuwenhoek-type of single microscope with a simple lens. The new mobile microscope is called the “L-eye mobile microscope” and is compact and easy to handle. The L-eye mobile microscope may become a hobby tool in everyday life for people of all ages but may also be a tool suitable in the education of medical or paramedical students. To test its potential as an educational tool, its performance was examined using samples such as permanent specimens of tissue sections from several organs used in histology and a standard target for a microscopy resolution test. As a control, we used a conventional education-use microscope that is mounted with a smartphone for image capture. From the performance comparison of the two kinds of microscope systems, the L-eye mobile microscope could take images with almost the same quality as those obtained with the conventional microscope at moderate magnifications. This result suggests the usefulness of the L-eye mobile microscope for education.
Free open access medical education (FOAM) resources in emergency medicine (EM) have grown exponentially in recent years. Within this movement, there are relatively few resources dedicated to simulation in EM. EM Sim Cases is a FOAM resource that was started in 2015 with the goal of creating a central database of simulation cases and scholarly articles that could be shared worldwide and thus reduce needless duplication of effort. Since 2015, EM Sim Cases has grown to have an annual average of 8,148 views per month from a total of 161 countries. It has an editorial team of 18 members as well as a leadership team of three. There is a robust, peer-reviewed case bank ranging in topic from neonatal resuscitation to end-of-life care as well as a number of simulation-relevant educational posts.
Emergency medicine (EM) training programs incorporate simulation for teaching as well as formative and summative assessment. The development of a simulation curriculum for Canadian postgraduate EM programs is underway and would be facilitated by a standardized, user-friendly, nationally endorsed simulation template. We convened a nationally representative group of simulation educators to participate in a three-phase process to develop and refine a simulation case template for Canadian EM educators. Participants provided feedback by means of free text comments and focus groups which were analyzed to inform modification of the template. We anticipate that this template will facilitate the sharing of cases across sites and the development of standardized cases for simulation-based assessment.
The coronavirus crisis occurs at a time when many clinicians have already experienced burnout. One in three Irish doctors were suffering from burnout in the 2019 National Study of Wellbeing of Hospital Doctors in Ireland; rates are also high in Irish Psychiatry. We present a perspective on the use of narrative in medicine and recognise that storytelling, and the patient history are very much at the heart of medicine. Clinician storytelling, such as Schwartz Rounds and Balint group work, has very much come to the fore in Irish Psychiatry and in training. Projects such as MindReading have explored overlaps between clinicians, humanities experts and experts by experience. We give an overview of some approaches from the movement around narrative in medicine to bolster this. We explore why clinicians write as ways to support identification, catharsis and a way to process experiences. Clinicians and patients may also use literature and poetry to promote coping. The historical context and practical strategies are highlighted, particularly with reference to poetry use during the current crisis.
Innovation Concept: Research training programs for students, especially in emergency medicine (EM), may be difficult to initiate due to lack of protected time, resources, and mentors (Chang Y, Ramnanan CJ. Academic Medicine 2015). We developed a ten-week summer program for medical students aimed at cultivating research skills through mentorship, clinical enrichment, and immersion in EM research culture through shadowing and project support. Methods: Five second year Ontario medical students were recruited to participate in the Summer Training and Research in Emergency Medicine (STAR-EM) program at University Health Network, Toronto, from June - Aug, 2019. Program design followed review of existing summer research programs and literature regarding challenges to EM research (McRae, Perry, Brehaut et al. CJEM 2018). The program had broad emergency physician (EP) engagement, with five EP research project mentors, and over ten EPs delivering academic sessions. Curriculum development was collaborative and iterative. All projects were approved by the hospital Research Ethics Board (REB). Curriculum, Tool or Material: Each weekly academic morning comprised small group teaching (topics including research methodology, manuscript preparation, health equity, quality improvement, and wellness), followed by EP-led group progress review of each student's project. Each student spent one half day per week in the emergency department (ED), shadowing an EP and identifying patients for recruitment for ongoing mentor-initiated ED research projects. Remaining time was spent on independent student project work. Presentation to faculty and program evaluation occurred in week 10. Scholarly output included one abstract submitted for publication per student. Program evaluation by students reflected a uniform impression that course material and mentorship were each excellent (100%, n = 5). Interest in pursuing academic EM as a career was identified by all students. Faculty researchers rated the program as very effective (80%, n = 4) or somewhat effective (20%, n = 1) in terms of enhancing productivity and scholarly output. Conclusion: The STAR-EM program provides a transferable model for other academic departments seeking to foster the development of future clinician investigators and enhance ED research culture. Program challenges included delays in REB approval for student projects and engaging recalcitrant staff to participate in research.
Introduction: Procedural skills are a key component of an emergency physician's practice. The Edmonton Zone is a health region that comprises twelve tertiary, urban community and rural community emergency departments (EDs) and represents over three hundred emergency physicians. This study describes the current attitudes toward procedural skill competency, current procedural skill practices, and the role for educational skills training sessions among emergency medicine physicians within a geographical health region. Methods: Multicenter descriptive cross-sectional survey of all emergency medicine physicians working at 12 emergency departments within the Edmonton Zone in 2019 (n = 274). The survey underwent several phases of systematic review; including item generation and reduction, pilot testing, and clinical sensibility testing. Survey items addressed current procedural skill performance frequency, perceived importance and confidence, current methods to maintain competence, barriers and facilitating factors to participation in a curriculum, preferred teaching methods, and desired frequency of practice for each procedural skill. Results: Survey response rate was 53.6%. Variability in frequency of performed procedures was apparent across the type of hospital sites. For majority of skills, there was a significantly positive correlation between the frequency at which a skill was performed and the perceived confidence performing said skill. There was inconsistency and no significant correlation with perceived importance, perceived confidence, or frequency performing a given skill and the desired frequency of training for that skill. Course availability (76.2%) and time (72.8%) are the most common identified barriers to participation in procedural skills training. Conclusion: This study summarized the current emergency department procedural skill practices and attitudes toward procedural skill competency and an educational curriculum among emergency medicine physicians in Edmonton. This represents a step towards targeted continuing professional development in the growing realm of competency-based medical education.
Introduction: Electronic medical records (EMR) have placed increasing demand on emergency physicians and may contribute to physician burnout and stress. The use of scribes to reduce workload and increase productivity in emergency departments (ED) has been reported. This objective of this study was to evaluate the educational and experiential value of scribing among medical and undergraduate students. We asked: “Will undergraduates be willing to scribe in exchange for clinical exposure and experience?”; and, “Should scribing be integrated into the medical school curriculum?” Methods: A mixed-methods model was employed. The study population included 5 undergraduate, and 5 medical students. Scribes received technical training on how to take physician notes. Undergraduate students were provided with optional resources to familiarize themselves with common medical terminology. Scribes were assigned to physicians based on availability. An exit interview and semi-structured interviews were conducted at the conclusion of the study. Interviews were transcribed and coded into thematic coding trees. A constructivist grounded theory approach was used to analyze the results. Themes were reviewed and verified by two members of the research team. Results: Undergraduate students preferred volunteering in the ED over other volunteer experiences (5/5); citing direct access to the medical field (5/5), demystification of the medical profession (4/5), resume building (5/5), and perceived value added to the health care team (5/5) as main motivators to continue scribing. Medical students felt scribing should be integrated into their curriculum (4/5) because it complemented their shadowing experience by providing unique value that shadowing did not. Based on survey results, five undergraduate students would be required to cover 40 volunteer hours per week. Conclusion: A student volunteer model of scribing is worthwhile to students and may be feasible; however, scribe availability, potentially high scribe turnover, and limited time to develop a rapport with their physician may impact any efficiency benefit scribes might provide. Importantly, scribing may be an invaluable experience for directing career goals and ensuring that students intrinsically interested in medicine pursue the profession. Medical students suggested that scribing could be added to the year one curriculum to help them develop a framework for how to take histories and manage patients.
Innovation Concept: A major barrier to the development of a national simulation case repository and multi-site simulation research is the lack of a standardized national case template. This issue was recently identified as a priority research topic for Canadian simulation based education (SBE) research in emergency medicine (EM). We partnered with the EM Simulation Education Researchers Collaborative (EM-SERC) to develop a national simulation template. Methods: The EM Sim Cases template was chosen as a starting point for the consensus process. We generated feedback on the template using a three-phase modified nominal group technique. Members of the EM-SERC mailing list were consulted, which included 20 EM simulation educators from every Canadian medical school except Northern Ontario School of Medicine and Memorial University. When comments conflicted, the sentiment with more comments in favour was incorporated. Curriculum, Tool or Material: In phase one we sought free-text feedback on the EM Sim Cases template via email. We received 65 comments from 11 respondents. An inductive thematic analysis identified four major themes (formatting, objectives, debriefing, and assessment tools). In phase two we sought free-text feedback on the revised template via email. A second thematic analysis on 40 comments from 12 respondents identified three broad themes (formatting, objectives, and debriefing). In phase three we sought feedback on the penultimate template via focus groups with simulation educators and technologists at multiple Canadian universities. This phase generated 98 specific comments which were grouped according to the section of the template being discussed and used to develop the final template (posted on emsimcases.com). Conclusion: We describe a national consensus-building process which resulted in a simulation case template endorsed by simulation educators from across Canada. This template has the potential to: 1. Reduce the replication of effort across sites by facilitating the sharing of simulation cases. 2. Enable national collaboration on the development of both simulation cases and curricula. 3. Facilitate multi centre simulation-based research by removing confounders related to the local adoption of an unfamiliar case template. This could improve the rigour and validity of these studies by reducing inter-site variability. 4. Increase the validity of any simulation scenarios developed for use in national high-stakes assessment.
Introduction: Assessment of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) competency has been reliant on practical, visual and written examinations performed 1-on-1 with an examiner. These tools attempt to assess competency through subjective ratings, checklists and multiple-choice questions that are labour intensive using surrogate measures. Eye-tracking has been used on a limited basis in various fields of medicine for training and assessment. This technology explores visual processing and holds great promise as a tool to monitor training progress towards the development of expertise. We hypothesize that eye-tracking may differentiate novices and experts as they progress to become competent in interpretation of POCUS images and provide an objective measure in assessment of competency. Methods: Medical students, residents and attending physicians working in an academic emergency department were recruited. Participants viewed a series of 16 ultrasound video clips in a POCUS protocol for Focused Assessment using Sonography in Trauma (FAST). The gaze pattern of the participants was recorded using a commercially available eye-tracking device. The primary outcome was the gaze parameters including total gaze time in the area of interest (AOI), average time to fixation on the AOI, number of fixations in the AOI and average duration of first fixation on the AOI. Secondary outcome was the accuracy on the interpretation of the FAST scan. Results: Four novices and eight experts completed this study. The total gaze time in the AOI (mean +/- SD) was 76.72 +/- 18.84s among experts vs 53.64 +/- 10.33s among novices (p = 0.048), average time to fixation on the AOI was 0.561 +/- 0.319s vs 1.048 +/- 0.280s (p = 0.027), number of fixations in the AOI was 158.9 +/- 29.0 vs 121.8 +/- 17.5 (p = 0.042) and average duration of first fixation was 0.444 +/- 0.119s vs 0.390 +/- 0.024s (p = 0.402). The accuracy of the answers was 79.7 +/- 14.1% vs 45.3 +/- 21.9% (p = 0.007). Conclusion: In this pilot study, eye tracking shows potential to differentiate between POCUS experts and novices by their gaze patterns. Gaze patterns captured by eye tracking may not necessarily translate to cognitive processing. However, it allows educators to visualise the thought processes of the learner by their gaze patterns and provide insight on how to guide them towards competency. Future studies are needed to further validate the metrics for competency in POCUS applications.
To explore general practitioners' (GPs) knowledge of the symptoms and epidemiology of schizophrenia, and the GPs' characteristics associated with level of knowledge.
Survey questionnaires exploring practice in patients with early psychosis were mailed to all GPs in South-Western France (N = 3829). GPs were asked to fill out questions anonymously on the symptoms and epidemiology of schizophrenia.
The response rate was 23.6%. GPs had a fair theoretical knowledge of schizophrenia symptoms, but underestimated the prevalence and the risk of suicide. Recent attendance at a continuing medical education (CME) course on schizophrenia was the main predictor of level of knowledge on epidemiological figures, although its impact was relatively modest. Regarding risk factors, the implication of genetic factors was considered as null or modest by more than half of the GPs, while a large proportion of them stated that mother–baby interactional disturbances were frequently implicated in the aetiology of the disorder.
GPs' level of knowledge on the public health impact and risk factors for schizophrenia needs to be improved in order to promote the delivery of accurate and destigmatising information to primary care patients.
To evaluate the “Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI)” used by family resident physicians in primary health care (PHC) in Brazil.
Training for administrating the MINI was given as part of a broad psychiatry education program, and was performed in PHC consultations. Interviews were held with 120 PHC patients. MINI was administered by 25 physicians, while the “Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnosis (SCID-I)” was administered by a psychiatrist. The physicians answered questions on the applicability of the MINI.
Concordance levels for the following diagnoses were analyzed: any mental disorder; depressive disorders in general, major depressive episode and dysthymia; anxiety disorders in general, generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder; and substance abuse disorders. Kappa coefficients ranged between 0.65 and 0.85; sensitivity between 0.75 and 0.92; specificity, between 0.90 and 0.99; positive predictive values (PPV) between 0.60 and 0.86; negative predictive values (NPV) between 0.92 and 0.99; and accuracy between 0.88 and 0.98. The physicians considered MINI comprehensibility and clinical relevance satisfactory; the brevity of its administration was considered satisfactory for use with previous screening only.
These good results may be related with more frequent, intensive, and diversified training in psychiatry. The MINI is a useful tool for general practitioners and should be part of the broad psychiatry education program offered to these professionals.
This study investigated the attitudes of medical students towards psychiatry, both as a subject on the medical curriculum and as a career choice. Three separate questionnaires previously validated on medical student populations were administered prior to and immediately following an 8-week clinical training programme. The results indicate that the perception of psychiatry was positive prior to clerkship and became even more so on completion of training. On completion of the clerkship, there was a rise in the proportion of students who indicated that they might choose a career in psychiatry. Attitudes toward psychiatry correlated positively with the psychiatry examination results. Those that intended to specialise in psychiatry achieved significantly higher examination scores in the psychiatry examination.
Conflict of interest (COI) is a set of circumstances that creates a risk that professional judgments or actions regarding a primary interest will be unduly influenced and compromised by a secondary interest. It might arise in clinical practice, research, and education, and might include individuals and institutions. Primary interests include the pursuit of well-being of patients, ensuring the independence of medical education, and protecting the objectivity and integrity of medical research. Secondary interests might involve financial interests, pursuit of recognition and professional career advancement. COI might result from the multiple roles of physicians in patient care, research, administration, provision of expert opinion and policy advice, and consultancy to commercial organizations. The purpose of the COI policy is to protect the interests of the patients, strengthen the integrity of the profession, and preserve public trust in medicine and psychiatry. The aim of the guidance is to eventually prevent these conflicts from arising rather than remediate them ex post. It is desirable to identify factors that might lead to their occurrence, offer a framework for their recognition and assessment, introduce the principles and standards of their disclosure, and provide recommendations for their transparent resolution.
Online learning has become an increasingly expected and popular component for education of the modern-day adult learner, including the medical provider. In light of the recent coronavirus pandemic, there has never been more urgency to establish opportunities for supplemental online learning. Heart University aims to be “the go-to online resource” for e-learning in CHD and paediatric-acquired heart disease. It is a carefully curated open access library of paedagogical material for all providers of care to children and adults with CHD or children with acquired heart disease, whether a trainee or a practising provider. In this manuscript, we review the aims, development, current offerings and standing, and future goals of Heart University.
Quality improvement and patient safety (QIPS) competencies are increasingly important in emergency medicine (EM) and are now included in the CanMEDS framework. We conducted a survey aimed at determining the Canadian EM residents’ perspectives on the level of QIPS education and support available to them.
An electronic survey was distributed to all Canadian EM residents from the Royal College and Family Medicine training streams. The survey consisted of multiple-choice, Likert, and free-text entry questions aimed at understanding familiarity with QIPS, local opportunities for QIPS projects and mentorship, and the desire for further QIPS education and involvement.
Of 535 EM residents, 189 (35.3%) completed the survey, representing all 17 medical schools; 77.2% of respondents were from the Royal College stream; 17.5% of respondents reported that QIPS methodologies were formally taught in their residency program; 54.7% of respondents reported being “somewhat” or “very” familiar with QIPS; 47.2% and 51.5% of respondents reported either “not knowing” or “not having readily available” opportunities for QIPS projects and QIPS mentorship, respectively; 66.9% of respondents indicated a desire for increased QIPS teaching; and 70.4% were interested in becoming involved with QIPS training and initiatives.
Many Canadian EM residents perceive a lack of QIPS educational opportunities and support in their local setting. They are interested in receiving more QIPS education, as well as project and mentorship opportunities. Supporting residents with a robust QIPS educational and mentorship framework may build a cohort of providers who can enhance the local delivery of care.
Dr Séamus Mac Suibhne (Sweeney), consultant psychiatrist and writer, who died on 8 September 2019, was a unique, much admired figure in Irish psychiatry. His interests ranged from clinical care to philosophy, from medical education to history, from innovative technology to the natural world. He was a dedicated family man as well as a doctor, scholar and writer who moved between academic fields with ease and erudition. As a clinician, he consistently placed compassion at the centre of care. Séamus’s work appeared in the Lancet, BMJ, British Journal of Psychiatry, International Journal of Social Psychiatry and Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, among other publications. He also wrote for the Guardian, Spectator, Scotsman and Times Literary Supplement. Séamus had a particular passion for better acknowledgement and treatment of mental illness among psychiatrists, and his compelling advocacy on this theme is one of his lasting legacies.