Background: Medical students in University College Cork
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
aim was that students would develop
fundamental knowledge, attitude and skills required in the area of palliative medicine.
Objectives: To use a simple classroom assessment
technique to assess the educational impact of the SSM and to improve the module
for future years.
Methods: At the penultimate session of the SSM students
anonymously completed a “Minute Paper” containing 2 questions:
1. What is the most important thing you have
learned so far?
2. What is still confusing or unclear for you?
were thematically analysed. .
Unclear areas were reviewed with the students at the final SSM session.
Results: Eighteen students completed the paper. Areas
reported as being well-understood included increased understanding of palliative care, total pain, holistic
individualized care of patient and family, multidisciplinary teamwork, breaking
bad news, the need for early referral and self care. Unclear areas included
aspects of pharmacological symptom management, maintenance of professionalism,
career pathways in palliative medicine, lack of fact-to-face contact with a