Aim: Multidisciplinary, as a term, is used to define people from different scientific backgrounds working together, each drawing on their field of expertise. Some related terms are frequently used interchangeably, such as interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary, but they are confusing and ambiguous. Introduction of a multidisciplinary teaching method in the early phases of medical curricula is insufficient for effective learning. Here, we aim to implement a multidisciplinary approach in the early phase of medical education and identify outcomes.
Methods: Two groups were evaluated in this study, each representing phases II and III of the Albaha medical curriculum, and including 90 and 86 students, respectively. "Hearing tests and their clinical applications" was selected as a subject to evaluate the understanding of special senses as studied by the phase II group, while "pathology of otolaryngology-related tumors and clinical correlations" was selected as a subject to evaluate the understanding of otolaryngology as studied by the phase III group. These subjects were selected by faculty members from otolaryngology, pathology and physiology departments and taught in successive stations. Teaching sessions were followed by a formative test that included 10 multiple-choice questions and a mini-clinical evaluation exercise (mini-CEX). A questionnaire to evaluate student satisfaction was completed after the exam.
Results: Students' satisfaction for the "hearing tests and their clinical applications" and "pathology of otolaryngology-related tumors and clinical correlations" subjects were 80% and 90.5%, respectively. The formative assessment revealed good student performance at 63.28%, and 60.46% of all students in both phases attained scores above 80%.
Conclusion: Introduction of a multidisciplinary approach early in the medical curriculum improves knowledge and skill acquisition. This is reflected in student performance, especially if evaluated using the mini-CEX format, thus providing rapid feedback to students concerning their performance.
Keywords: integration; mini-CEX; multidisciplinary; otolaryngology; pathology; student performance.
© 2020 Atta and Alzahrani.