FMIG Clinical Skills Workshop Ideas

The following programs and events were selected from FMIG Program of Excellence Award applications. Browse the list to get ideas and inspiration for your FMIG. Each entry shows the level of effort that went into the program/event, how many students participated, and a detailed description in the students' own words.

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BLSO (Basic Life Support in Obstetrics)

FMIG: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

What it took to organize: 4 students, 50 hours

Number of students who attended/participated: 72

Details: BLSO was our flagship event this year. We first put on a BLSO curriculum in 2014, with 60 students. This year we expanded the event to 75 students. It is so popular that the event filled within 3 days of the email announcement of the course. Last year’s course generated immense excitement about family medicine. It also was revered by our students as “hands down, one of the best experiences in medical school.” Additionally the M2 students who took BLSO last year provided qualitative feedback and data to our FMIG that the skills they learned from BLSO greatly helped them on their third year clinical rotations in OB and Primary Care. This year’s course will be held from 7 AM to 5 PM on 4/23/16.

The BLSO was created in 2012 by the AAFP. It was based off of the ALSO (Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics) course that was created in 1991 here at UW Madison, and then sold to the AAFP in 1995. The curriculum is now the standard of care throughout the country (and much of the world) for obstetrical care in Family Medicine (FM). We are honored to have one of the original authors of the ALSO course - John Beasley - be a core instructor for our BLSO course. Our FMIG Faculty Advisor chaired the course last year and this year, and was a core instructor. The FMIG leaders painstakingly fundraised $9,430 to support the course’s high operating budget. Our local WAFP chapter, the medical school, the Department of Family Medicine, and the students themselves all contribute their time and money to make this event a success. Community faculty were also solicited to “sponsor a student” by providing a $50 contribution - thus funding one student’s attendance. In turn, each student who was sponsored will write a personal thank-you note to the community faculty member, discussing how the course impacted them, and how it promoted a future career in FM.

Of note, our FMIG operating budget for FMIG starts at $0 every year. The only “funding” we receive from the DFMCH is for a small allotment of time for our faculty advisor and our FMIG coordinator. We do not receive any allotted funding from our medical school. All of our events are funded by donations; and each event is solicited individually - requiring our students to garner funding for each event each year. With the high operating budget, we were thrilled to get such wonderful funding to promote the knowledge and scope of family medicine early on in medical school.
The goal of this event is to showcase the specialty of FM as a leader in women’s health and maternity care. All of our faculty are family physicians currently practicing obstetrics in their practice. Having 16 instructors and 75 students allows for an intimate ratio of 1 instructor to every 5 students - providing wonderful hands-on teaching and the opportunity for close mentorship. Of the 16 instructors, four are residents. This allows the residents exposure to teaching, and provides the students with a view of “the next steps” in the career path of family medicine.

The BLSO course and the data we gather will be presented at the STFM (Society of Teachers in Family Medicine) Annual Meeting on 5/4/16 by students, faculty and residents. The success of the program is evaluated by extensive pre-course and post-course evaluations. We plan to compare last year’s data with this year’s, and were invited to present this data at the STFM annual meeting. This data will also be shared with the BLSO course directors and with the national AAFP to help improve the program for the entire country. Additionally, this year’s BLSO course and curriculum will be reviewed and observed by our medical school’s curriculum committee to determine if it should be adopted formally into the new medical school curriculum. If this happened, FMIG would still be able to help organize and run the course, but the funding would be taking care of by the medical school. Finally, the course will be highlighted in mid-May on the Department of Family Medicine Website and in our Department’s e-newsletter(www.fammed.wisc.edu).

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Clinical Skills Sessions

FMIG: Penn State College of Medicine

What it took to organize: 2 students, 30 hours

Number of students who attended/participated: 200

Details: Every year, FMIG offers sessions that supplement classroom learning and offer additional opportunities for students to develop clinical skills. FMIG has developed a relationship with the Department of Family and Community Medicine's Urgent Care clinic and is able to offer shadowing opportunities to medical students every weekend through the academic year. This is a popular option as it allows students an opportunity to gain more clinical experiences early in their training.

FMIG also organizes a focused skills sessions throughout the year. The first session was held on November 4th, 2015 as a collaboration with the Women’s Health Interest Group (WHIG). The two-hour skills session was focused on Women’s health and was comprised of 4 stations: laparoscopic surgery simulation, breast exam, vaginal exam, and pelvic exam. These sessions were taught by a combination of OB-Gyn and Family Medicine-Obstetrician residents and physicians. This was an exciting event as it allowed students to get a preview about specific exam techniques which will be used during 3rd and 4th year clinical rotations. It also allowed students to learn more about one of the many ways that Family Medicine residents and physicians can specialize and work with many different patients. The event had approximately 40 attendees and was taught by 4 physicians and residents.

The second clinical skills session was a collaboration with Medical Students for Choice on January 27th, 2016. This two-hour event was focused on contraceptive options and the role that primary care physicians have discussing these options with patients. There were 5 stations including: an overview about different contraceptive options, the importance of taking a thorough sexual history, and 3 hands-on workshops in which students had the opportunity to practice insertions of Nexplanon and IUD devices as well as the no-scalpel vasectomy technique. This session was attended by 30 students as well as several first-year Family Medicine Residents. The session was taught by a combination of 9 Family Medicine, Family Medicine - Obstetricians, and OB-Gyn physicians and residents. Contraceptive options and family planning is an important part of many patients’ lives. This collaboration with MSFC allowed students to gain an understanding of the role that many different types of physicians have in this aspect of patient care. This session was so popular that it will be repeated in April 2016 in collaboration with other student interest groups, so that more students can have an opportunity to participate and it will be expanded to include additional sessions focused on how to approach sensitive topics with patients such as sexual histories, working with LGBTQ patients, and intimate partner violence.

FMIG also held a two-hour clinical skills workshop in May 2016 to help prepare first-year medical students to perform physical examinations ahead of their formal taped exercises. There were 4 stations which students rotated through, each focusing on a specific section of the exam: head & neck, cardiac & lung, abdominal, and musculoskeletal. There were a total of 50 students who attended the session. Each station was managed by a resident or Family Medicine physician (eight in total) who instructed the students about proper techniques and any common pathologies that may be important to look for during that section. Additionally students were given time to speak to the doctors to ask questions about opportunities the field of Family Medicine has to offer.

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Family Medicine Workshops

FMIG: Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine Student Family Medicine Association

What it took to organize: 2 students, 15 hours

Number of students who attended/participated: 109

Details: In recent years the number of student interest groups that host workshops has increased tremendously. The workshops provided by SFMA are aimed to not only introduce and allow students to practice physical examination techniques, but also to expose students to different aspects of family medicine. The physicians we invite to lead workshops are encouraged to discuss family medicine, their training in the field and their experience practicing in a variety of settings in the Richmond area. The workshops were selected based on student interest surveys filled out by students who are members of SFMA. The workshop coordinators worked with the faculty adviser to reach out to the physicians who hosted the event. Then, the workshop coordinators established date and time, publicized the event, and managed the lottery system for selecting participants.

Our first workshop was held just after the first year medical students learned their first physical exam. The workshop was designed to help both first and second year students practice physical exam skills in small groups with physicians and residents from VCU and St. Francis residency program. The 21 students in attendance were split into groups of 4 or 5 and paired with a resident or physician who provided feedback as the students performed exam techniques on one another. Each physician ran a station that was designed to highlight a different physical exam including head and neck, musculoskeletal, and abdominal exam.

Once again, we hosted a workshop at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Facility with the St. Francis Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship Program. This year, the fellowship program director, Jeffrey Roberts, MD, and his team of residents introduced basic sports medicine skills, specifically upper and lower limb injuries. Groups of four to five students rotated through various stations, each focusing on a particular component of a musculoskeletal examination, such as shoulder, ankle, foot, or knee. Each student was able to practice and observe with immediate feedback from the supervising physician. Twenty two students, both first and second year medical students, participated in the workshop.

Another workshop brought back by popular demand was the Osteopathic Workshop led by Riverside Hospital family physician, Joy Elliott, DO. She discussed the difference between a DO and MD education and then spent the majority of the allotted time introducing several osteopathic medicine techniques. There was ample opportunity for student practice with feedback and guidance from Dr. Elliott. Twenty students, both first and second year medical students, participated in the workshop. Their feedback from post-workshop surveys was all very positive, noting in particular the appreciation of hands-on aspect of the workshop.

Chesterfield Family Practice, a local VCU residency program, hosted 24 students for yet another workshop back by popular demand. Students rotated through six stations in small groups with residents, who simulated patients with behavioral and mental health issues. Each group had an attending who served to answer questions and advise students at each station. At each station the students interviewed the patient and then discussed their differential diagnosis. After rotating through all the stations the entire group got together to discuss their experiences.

An upcoming Ultrasound workshop will be held by VCU’s St Francis Family Medicine residency program. Students will be instructed in the technique of using ultrasound in the context of both sports medicine and OBGYN purposes with simulated and actual patients. Students will experience how family medicine physicians use ultrasound in their practice, and gain some hands-on experience with this highly utilized clinical tool.

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Procedure Clinics

FMIG: University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

What it took to organize: 5 students, 30 hours

Number of students who attended/participated: 180 total, about 100 individual students with some repeat attendance (~25-30 students per clinic)

Details: Introduction and Goals
One of our most popular programs each year is our series of procedure clinics. Each clinic is co-hosted by our FMIG group and one of the nine family medicine residencies from around the state of Iowa. The goals of this program include:
1. Allow students to gain exposure to a wide variety of procedures conducted by family physicians in clinical practice
2. Give students an opportunity to practice skills with instruction from practicing family physicians and residents
3. Provide an opportunity for students to interact with residents and faculty from the Iowa residency programs

The procedure clinic topics from this year included Airway Management, Suturing, Episiotomy Repair, Central Lines and Lumbar Puncture, and Casting and Splinting. In addition, we have also recently offered such topics as Vacuum and Forceps Delivery, Colposcopy, and IVs and Phlebotomy. The co-hosting residency supplies the dinner, the necessary equipment, and a team of enthusiastic and outgoing residents and faculty to work with and instruct the students. Registration for these clinics is open to all students within the college of medicine, with preference given to FMIG members. The procedure clinics quickly fill with M1 and M2 students eager to gain clinical experience and M3 and M4 students looking to perfect their techniques in a supportive environment. The clinics typically have 20 to 30 attendees based on the number of facilitators that are able to attend to ensure proper supervision and instruction.

FMIG Leader Roles and Program Execution
The procedure clinics are initially organized and scheduled by one of the FMIG Co Vice-Presidents early in the year. The Vice-President then seeks volunteers from the rest of the FMIG leadership team to help facilitate each of the specific nights. Volunteers assist with advertising, signing up attendees, coordinating the dinner, and acting as a point of contact for the residency program. By managing the procedure clinics in this fashion, M1 and M2 students on the leadership team are given an opportunity to get involved and help facilitate events while putting less pressure on one person.

Improvements
Feedback from these clinics is used to make improvements and has led to new topics being integrated each year. The procedure clinics continue to be very popular; often filling within hours of a date being announced. To improve access to the clinics for every student, we have continued to implement a change from last year to hold 5-7 spots per clinic for attendees how have been unable to attend previous clinics. Another challenge that we have faced is keeping students involved who may have activities that regularly take place on the same evening of the week. Certain classes, lab sections and other activities occur during the same early evening time period as our procedure clinics. In previous years, students have noted that the majority of our clinics were being held on Mondays, which conflicted with a popular elective class. We have striven to intentionally stager the clinic schedule this year to include more Tuesday and Wednesday dates to allow for students with varying schedules to attend. In the interest of further improvement, attendees will again be surveyed after the last procedure clinic of the year to evaluate how the program has met the needs of students and how it can be improved for the future.

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Procedures Fair

FMIG: Medical College of Wisconsin Family Medicine Student Association

What it took to organize: 1 student, 20 hours

Number of students who attended/participated: 75

Details: This year our Procedures Fair featured four workshops we have held in the past: Casting, Joint Injections, Suturing, and Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO) – Baby Delivery simulation, and one workshop new for this year: IUD Insertion with simulators. This fair demonstrated the broad scope of Family Medicine to students and provided students the opportunity to interact with family medicine residents and faculty. Each student had the opportunity to participate in three of the five workshops based on their interests. Family Medicine faculty and residents teach all of the workshops (3-4 physicians per workshop), which provided students in their pre-clinical years a unique opportunity to interact one on one with family medicine physicians.

Students ate dinner before the workshops began and the AAFP 2015 National Conference was discussed in detail. Medical students and residents who attended the national conference in the past discussed their experiences. Our FMIG has been fortunate to receive funding from the Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians in the past to send all interested students to the national conference and we hope to continue this by informing students interested in family medicine about this great opportunity.

The suturing workshop had students practicing several different suturing techniques (simple interrupted, simple uninterrupted, vertical and horizontal mattress) on pigs’ feet, which will hopefully give them a leg up in several of their future clerkships. Students practiced casting on each other and removing the casts once their casts dried. Joint injections emphasized anatomic landmarks and needle placement on several different joint models. Baby delivery featured models from the simulation center at our medical school as well as a focus on delivery complications using the Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics teaching method.

IUD Insertion was added as a workshop for this year to eliminate the need for a waiting list to attend the fair and give students more options for activities. Being able to accommodate all interested students was a goal we had not been able to accomplish before the addition of this fifth workshop this year. This workshop was run in collaboration with the OB/GYN Interest Group (student group) and Medical Students for Choice (student group) who provided the IUDs and female models necessary.

This fair is a great introduction to some of the hands-on and procedure based medicine that family medicine physicians practice. For students with limited prior exposure to family medicine, the workshops do a great job of exposing students to a side of family medicine they were previously unaware of and allowing students to interact closely with residents and physicians. They also provide students with a low-pressure environment to practice techniques that will help them on the wards.