Background: Transition to clerkship courses bridge the curricular gap between preclinical and clinical medical education. However, despite the use of simulation-based teaching techniques in other aspects of medical training, these techniques have not been adequately described in transition courses. We describe the development, structure and evaluation of a simulation-based transition to clerkship course. Approach: Beginning in 2012, our institution embarked upon an extensive curricular transformation geared toward competency-based education. As part of this effort, a group of 12 educators designed, developed and implemented a simulation-based transition course. The course curriculum involved seven goals, centered around the 13 Association of American Medical Colleges Core Entrustable Professional Activities for entering residency. Instructional techniques included high-fidelity simulation, and small and large group didactics. Student competency was determined through a simulation-based inpatient-outpatient objective structured clinical examination, with real-time feedback and remediation. The effectiveness of the course was assessed through a mixed methods approach involving pre- and post-course surveys and a focus group. Evaluation: Of 166 students, 152 (91.6%) completed both pre- and post-course surveys, and nine students participated in the focus group. Students reported significant improvements in 21 out of 22 course objectives. Qualitative analysis revealed three key themes: learning environment, faculty engagement and collegiality. The main challenge to executing the course was procuring adequate faculty, material and facility resources. Reflection: This simulation-based, resource-heavy transition course achieved its educational objectives and provided a safe, supportive learning environment for practicing and refining clinical skills.
- Objective structured clinical examination
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