Making knowledge clips with patients: What learning mechanisms are triggered in medical students?

Patient Educ Couns. 2022 Jun 15;S0738-3991(22)00286-5. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2022.06.008. Online ahead of print.


Objective: To prepare medical students for a rapidly changing healthcare landscape, where new means of communication emerge, innovative teaching methods are needed. We developed a project-based learning course in which medical students design audiovisual patient information in collaboration with patients and with students in Communication and Information Sciences (CIS). We studied what learning mechanisms are triggered in medical students by elements of a project-based-learning course.

Methods: In this qualitative study, twelve sixth year medical students that participated in the course were individually interviewed. Data were analyzed according to the principles of qualitative template analysis.

Results: We identified four learning mechanisms: Challenging assumptions about patients' information needs; Becoming aware of the origin of patients' information needs; Taking a patient's perspective; Analyzing language to adapt to patients' needs. These learning mechanisms were activated by making a knowledge clip, collaborating with patients, and collaborating with CIS students.

Conclusion: Collaborating with patients helped students to recognize and understand patients' perspectives. Working on a tangible product in partnership with patients and CIS students, triggered students to apply their understanding in conveying information back to patients.

Practice implication: Based on our findings we encourage educators to involve patients as collaborators in authentic assignments for students so they can apply what they learned from taking patients' perspectives.

Keywords: Medical education; Patient education; Patient involvement; Person-centered care; Project-based learning.