The goals of fourth-year medical student electives vary, and studentsÕ learning during clinical electives may occur solely through the subspecialty cases that students encounter. We aim to standardize learning during electives by creating a toolkit to guide elective directors in the development of curricula that reinforce basic science principles, highlight areas for high-value care, and provide opportunities for further inquiry. The first step is to determine the core specialty topics applicable to students regardless of career choice. Here, we describe this content prioritization process within the context of an Infectious Diseases (ID) elective pilot curriculum.
We conducted a modified, 2-round Delphi process to develop consensus on ID topics that all graduating medical students should know. Through review of the literature for common diagnoses and High Value Care, and the medical school curriculum, the authors generated an initial list of 16 topics. An interdisciplinary group of 90 expert faculty educators from Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Surgery rated these topics' importance using a 5-point Likert scale, from 0 (absolutely do not include) to 4 (very important). We considered items rated at least 3 (important) by at least 80% of participants to have reached consensus.
Sixty of 90 (67%) educators responded to the initial survey, and 48/60 (80%) completed both surveys. Nine additional topics were proposed by first-round participants. After the second round, 14 topics met the consensus criterion. Many common conditions, several dangerous infections, and infectious issues overrepresented in the local population met consensus. However, while many of the topics failing to meet consensus addressed rare conditions or those typically managed by subspecialists, some were also common conditions.
Standardizing medical student learning during elective rotations begins with identifying key topics. Our process included a diverse group of educators to determine key topics. We will use this list to guide the content of a new asynchronous, online ID elective curriculum, and we will describe our process as part of a curriculum development toolkit for other elective directors.
B. Schwartz, None