Introduction: The JeffMD curriculum at Sidney Kimmel Medical College, which completed its inaugural year in the spring of 2018, aims to prepare future physicians to “thrive in the landscape of modern healthcare.” The curriculum is based upon the knowledge that human health exists interdependently with all aspects of life, including but not limited to social, health care system, behavioral, and biological factors. The JeffMD Clinical Experience Program (CE) is a mandatory, experiential, value-added component of the curriculum. Through the CE course, which spans the 21-month preclinical period, students work with a Community Health Worker to screen patients for social needs and connect them to community resources.
Objective: The purpose of this Quality Improvement study was twofold. First, we sought to evaluate the extent to which the first year of the CE program (1) contributed to student learning, and (2) added value to the clinical sites. Second, we sought to implement site-specific improvements based upon our results.
Methods: We followed the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) model. We measured the current performance of the CE program through electronic surveys administered to the 260 first-year medical students who participated. The surveys included free response and Likert scale questions. We also conducted small group interviews with key stakeholders from four of the clinical sites using a questionnaire adapted from Penn State.
Results: Students valued the opportunity to interact with patients and learn about social determinants of health; however, they did not find the CE program to be an effective learning experience. Key themes from the clinical site interviews included lack of student initiative, physical space constraints, communication barriers, and the positive contribution of Community Health Workers.
Conclusion: We performed cause analyses and implemented clinical site-specific changes based upon our results. We believe that the student experience will improve from year-to-year so long as we continue to incorporate feedback from students and other stakeholders.
Virgil, Chloe and Romano, Emily, "Quality Improvement for the JeffMD Clinical Experience Program" (2018). SKMC JeffMD Scholarly Inquiry, Phase 1, Project 1.