Child Psychiatry Curricula in Undergraduate Medical Education
To review the literature describing the content and time allocated to undergraduate medical education curricula in child and adolescent psychiatry and make recommendations about child and adolescent psychiatry teaching goals and curricula content.
A literature search from 1970 to February 2007 using the key words undergraduate, curriculum, teaching, education, psychiatry, child, adolescent, and medical school, was conducted using PubMed, PsycINFO, and Web of Science.
There is limited agreement about curricula content for undergraduate child and adolescent psychiatry teaching programs in medical schools, with a wide range of objectives identified by different programs. On average, the time allowed for teaching child and adolescent psychiatry is small. There is also great variation in the time allocated by different medical schools. In many countries, the number of child and adolescent psychiatrists with academic appointments is limited, and child and adolescent psychiatry programs are developed and taught by a small number of teaching staff at each medical school.
Medical schools should reconsider the relatively low priority given to teaching child and adolescent psychiatry to medical students. The child and adolescent psychiatry profession must identify clear learning goals for a longitudinal developmentally appropriate model of child and adolescent psychiatry education commencing at an undergraduate level in medical schools and continuing through residency and fellowships. There is a need to promote national and international standards for teaching in this area and to encourage stronger collaborations between teaching staff across different medical schools.
Available from: Daniel Livingstone
- "We are unaware of research evaluating Second Life for teaching child psychiatry, a specialty embracing interpersonal dynamics and complex decision-making.7-9 Simulation can standardise learning, particularly important given medical students’ variable exposure to child psychiatry.10 The specialty also involves risk management in patients vulnerable by virtue of age and mental disorder; simulation could provide a standardised learning environment to safely explore risk.11 "
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ABSTRACT: Aims and method To develop and evaluate a novel teaching session on clinical assessment using role play simulation. Teaching and research sessions occurred sequentially in computer laboratories. Ten medical students were divided into two online small-group teaching sessions. Students role-played as clinician avatars and the teacher played a suicidal adolescent avatar. Questionnaire and focus-group methodology evaluated participants’ attitudes to the learning experience. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS, qualitative data through nominal-group and thematic analyses.
Results Participants reported improvements in psychiatric skills/knowledge, expressing less anxiety and more enjoyment than role-playing face to face. Data demonstrated a positive relationship between simulator fidelity and perceived utility. Some participants expressed concern about added value over other learning methods and non-verbal communication.
Clinical implications The study shows that virtual worlds can successfully host role play simulation, valued by students as a useful learning method. The potential for distance learning would allow delivery irrespective of geographical distance and boundaries.
Available from: PubMed Central
- "In our own efforts to improve education for medical students, the survey by Sawyer et al.  provided the impetus for us to conduct a similar survey in the German-speaking parts of Europe that have medical schools. Our goal in the present study was to assess the current state of education in CAP for undergraduate medical students at German-speaking medical schools. "
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ABSTRACT: To conduct a survey about teaching child and adolescent psychiatry to undergraduate medical students in German-speaking countries.
A questionnaire was sent to the 33 academic departments of child and adolescent psychiatry in Germany, Austria, and the German-speaking part of Switzerland.
All departments responded. For teaching knowledge, the methods most commonly reported were lectures and case presentations. The most important skills to be taught were thought to be how to assess psychopathology in children and how to assess families. For elective courses, the departments reported using a wide range of teaching methods, many with active involvement of the students. An average of 34 hours per semester is currently allocated by the departments for teaching child and adolescent psychiatry to medical students. Required courses are often taught in cooperation with adult psychiatry and pediatrics. Achievement of educational objectives is usually assessed with written exams or multiple-choice tests. Only a minority of the departments test the achievement of skills.
Two ways of improving education in child and adolescent psychiatry are the introduction of elective courses for students interested in the field and participation of child and adolescent psychiatrists in required courses and in longitudinal courses so as to reach all students. Cooperation within and across medical schools can enable departments of child and adolescent psychiatry, despite limited resources, to become more visible and this specialty to become more attractive to medical students. Compared to the findings in earlier surveys, this survey indicates a trend towards increased involvement of academic departments of child and adolescent psychiatry in training medical students.
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ABSTRACT: The teaching of child psychiatry in Australian medical schools is under review: the content, the placement of the field within medical curricula, and the appropriate teaching and learning methods are all contested. The authors developed a 1-day program in the 9-week child and adolescent health course conducted in the final two semesters of the medical degree at the University of Melbourne and conducted a systematic evaluation of learning outcomes. The program facilitates a group process that draws students to reflect on the role of the doctor and his or her relationship with the patient-child, adolescent, family, and peers.
Questionnaires were administered before and after the program to assess students' learning, and end-of-day and end-of-term questionnaires were used to obtain feedback from students.
The assessment of students' knowledge of key topics in child psychiatry immediately prior to and following the teaching day showed notable improvement on most measures. The surveys showed that the majority of students considered the day a worthwhile and useful part of their course, including a positive response to the role plays.
The sound pedagogical base and successful iterative development of the program has been confirmed by the immediate improvement in students' knowledge. The findings are relevant to academic psychiatrists, medical course designers, and medical educators seeking insights into teaching undergraduate child psychiatry.
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