Introduction: Whether the clinical vignettes presented at the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) annual meeting could be of educational value to third year students in the Internal Medicine clerkship has not been studied.
Objective: To explore the relevance and learning value of clinical vignettes from the SGIM national meeting in the Internal Medicine clerkship.
Setting: Third year Ambulatory Internal Medicine clerkship at one academic medical center (academic year 2005 to 2006).
Methods: Students were introduced to the clinical vignette and oriented to the database of clinical vignettes available through the SGIM annual meeting website. Students then reviewed 5 to 10 clinical vignettes using a worksheet, and rated the learning value of each vignette using a 5-point Likert scale (1=least, 5=greatest). A single investigator evaluated congruence of the vignette with the Clerkship Directors of Internal Medicine (CDIM)-SGIM curriculum to assess relevance.
Main results: A total of 42 students evaluated 371 clinical vignettes from the 2004 and 2005 meetings. The clinical vignettes were curriculum-congruent in 42.6% (n=175), and clearly incongruent in 40.4% (n=164). The mean rating for learning value was 3.8 (+/-1.0) (5 signifying greatest learning value). Curriculum-congruent vignettes had a higher mean learning value compared with curriculum-incongruent vignettes (4.0 vs 3.6, Student's t-test, P=.017).
Conclusion: The clinical vignettes presented at the national SGIM meeting offer clinical content that is relevant and of some educational value for third year clerkship students. Based on this pilot study, the educational value and strategies for their use in the clinical clerkships deserve further study.