Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Sweeney C, Lynch G Khashan A, Murphy M, O’Brien T.
IAPC 12th Annual Education & Research Seminar 2012
“My understanding of the role of a doctor has been seriously reshaped”: the impact of an undergraduate special study module in palliative medicine.
Kilkenny, Ireland
Poster Presentation
Optional Fields

Background: The need for undergraduate medical education in palliative care has been highlighted by several key organizations. Medical students in University College Cork (UCC) in years 1,2 and 3 select optional 5 credit special study modules (SSM). A module entitled Fundamentals of Palliative Medicine was designed and offered to 3rd year medical students. The overall objective of the module was that students would explore the fundamental knowledge, attitude and skills required in the area of palliative medicine.

Aim: To assess impact of the SSM in terms of qualitative and quantitative measures, to identify areas of confusion and to improve the module for future years.

Methods: Students completed the “Minute Paper” a classroom assessment technique used in third level education anonymously at the penultimate session. They were asked to identify areas they understood well and issues they still found unclear or confusing. Feedback was provided to students at the last session

Results: Twenty-four students chose the module. This included 19 direct entry and 5 graduate entry students. Eighteen students completed the minute paper. Areas reported as being well-understood included illness in the context of the individual patient and their family, spiritual suffering/total pain, the role of the doctor, the interdisciplinary team and teamwork, and breaking bad news. Unclear points included practical issues such as how to fit a palliative care approach into a busy practice and how to train in palliative medicine. Several students commented that the module should be core curriculum.

Conclusions: The module was a popular choice and well recieved by students.