Revisions to a patient presentations curricula informed by longitudinal evaluation of student confidence

Curr Pharm Teach Learn. 2021 Oct;13(10):1363-1369. doi: 10.1016/j.cptl.2021.07.015. Epub 2021 Jul 24.


Background and purpose: Presentation of patient cases to a preceptor is a complex skill taught throughout the pharmacy curriculum. However, published literature to guide instruction on this skill is lacking. The objective of this project was to inform revisions to a patient presentations curriculum through measurement and evaluation of student confidence to perform skills necessary to effectively present a patient case to a preceptor.

Educational activity and setting: A patient presentations to pharmacy preceptor curriculum was implemented into a pharmacotherapy skills laboratory course. Students were invited to complete three surveys over the course of the semester to evaluate areas for improvement in the teaching of this skill. Surveys measured student confidence in ability to identify and present relevant components within an electronic health record, identify and resolve drug-related problems, and communicate effectively during a patient presentation (34 items, 7-point Likert type scale). Survey results were analyzed, and instructional interventions were identified and designed.

Findings: Student confidence to present a patient to a pharmacy preceptor improved over the semester. Four interventions were designed and implemented to address five low self-reported student confidence items. Interventions included creation of large-group discussions, standardization of student feedback, and revision of a lab to limit student preparation time. Survey data revealed students understood the importance of evaluating patient cases and agreed these skills are applicable to multiple practice settings.

Summary: Based on student confidence data, areas for improvement in a patient presentations curriculum were identified, allowing for implementation of instructional interventions that targeted specific performance items.

Keywords: Communication; Curricula revision; Patient presentations; Preceptor; Student confidence.