Clinical Orthopaedic Teaching programme for Students (COTS)

Postgrad Med J. 2020 Nov 12;postgradmedj-2020-138822. doi: 10.1136/postgradmedj-2020-138822. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Introduction: There is a huge variation in the depth and breadth of content taught regarding orthopaedic examinations. Undergraduate students are often confused by the variability in examination teaching, therefore increasing concerns for upcoming objectively structured clinical examinations (OSCEs). Doctors, despite being expected to teach, rarely receive formal preparation, with only a handful of institutions providing necessary training. The Clinical Orthopaedic Teaching programme for Students (COTS) was designed to equip medical students with the knowledge to perform orthopaedic examinations and to synergistically provide senior students with the necessary experience for the future teaching required of them.

Methods: Six fortnightly sessions were delivered, each focusing on a specific joint examination. Student and tutor recruitment were voluntary. Pre-session and post-session multiple-choice questions (MCQs) were provided to students to assess improvement in knowledge. Anonymous feedback forms were provided to both students and tutors.

Results: From 61 student responses, 98.4% of students stated that COTS met the learning outcomes, with content relevant for their medical curriculum. 96.7% supported COTS' near-peer teaching (NPT) style for OSCE preparation. Based on a five-point Likert scale, students displayed a mean improvement in confidence (1.7±1.2, p<0.001) and MCQ scores (1.3±1.2, p<0.001). All 10 tutors perceived an improvement of their teaching skills and confidence to teach (1.0±0.9, p=0.016).

Conclusion: COTS shows that an NPT style can be used to effectively teach orthopaedic examinations, with benefits for students and tutors. With our aim to refine and upscale this programme, we publish our pilot study findings to encourage similar teaching programmes to be adopted at other universities.

Keywords: EDUCATION & TRAINING (see Medical Education & Training); MEDICAL EDUCATION & TRAINING; ORTHOPAEDIC & TRAUMA SURGERY.