Challenges and opportunities in teaching pediatrics

Jovevska, Svetlana and Zisovska, Elizabeta (2018) Challenges and opportunities in teaching pediatrics. Knowledge - International Journal, Scientific Papers, 23.2 (2). pp. 431-434. ISSN 2545-4439


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Undergraduate studies are exposed to many new innovative techniques of teaching. The most specific is teaching and learning Pediatrics, due to many challenges that are posed with the focus of such teaching, i.e. children as patients. More specifically, there is a shift in medical education toward educating physicians who can work as team members, who acquire strong practical experience, who have good communication skills; an ideal medical education would produce physicians who, as part of a health team, practice “patient-centered medicine.” It is well recognized that communicating with children and their families can be challenging for health professionals. A survey of young patients by the Health Commission in 2004 suggested that many children are unhappy with the way in which health workers relate to them whilst they are in hospital. Equipping undergraduate students with the tools for effective communication via specific teaching whilst on clinical placement should therefore be part of the curriculum at all universities. Good clinical communication skills correlate with improved health care outcomes. The recognition that communication skills are a basic clinical skill and the development of practical teaching tools such as training on phantoms, hands-on training, Structured, Clinical, Objective Referenced, Problem-based, Integrated and Organized method of learning, case scenarios and Problem Based Learning, have led to an improvement in acquiring knowledge and communication skills. The complexity of such studies is increased because of the three-way consultation between a child, parent/guardian, and the doctor. Current curricular trends have substantially expanded the opportunities for pediatric departments to achieve full partnership and provide an optimal environment for students to acquire a sound general medical education, preparing them for any specialty and for lifelong learning in an evolving health care system. For the next steps, curriculum leaders in pediatrics can consider each of the following approaches: (1) full partnership with family physicians in the planning and conduct of longitudinal perception, population-based experience, and other integrated ambulatory experiences; (2) active participation as a precepter, small group facilitator, and mentor or role model for case-based educational experiences and small group activities related to acquisition of necessary skills, attitudes, and values for the early clinical experiences; (3) partnership with basic science and other clinical departments to ensure that clinical correlations and case-based opportunities provide balanced and representative exposure to pediatric diseases, maintenance of health, and prevention of illness concepts that are pertinent to adult-onset manifestations of illness; (4) emphasis on developmental and maturational aspects of wellness and of illness, even when age-related or logistical limitations preclude access to a comprehensive age range of infants and children; and (5) full representation of core principles of pediatric health in the curriculum and in performance-based assessments, including biologic and psychosocial development, parental and family support systems, risk behaviors, and environmental risks in children as antecedents of adult-onset morbidity and mortality, social and emotional development and behavior, and relationships between parenting, family dynamics, and maintenance of pediatric health and prevention of adult illnesses. Comprehensive incorporation of the principles of developmental biology, preventive pediatric health care, growth and development, maladaptive environments, and the pediatric origins of major medical and psychological morbidities across all years of medical faculty is more readily attainable in the context of these new curricular trends.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Body mass index, pregnancy, newborn, outcome
Subjects: Medical and Health Sciences > Basic medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medical Science
Depositing User: Svetlana Jovevska
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2018 13:18
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2018 13:18

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