The effects of psychosocial education on undergraduate medical students were evaluated in an open trial. Undergraduate medical students were exposed to psychosomatic medicine and, in particular, holistic medicine as part of their undergraduate medical education. Almost all students (94.9%) reported addressing “extramedical” clinical problems with a holistic approach (n=98). Psychological, social, and economic problems were mentioned in 64.3%, 50.0%, and 5.1% of reports, respectively. Problems in relationships between members of the medical staff and patients were included in 37.8% of reports. Self-evaluation with the Egogram Check Lists by students who had undergone clinical practice revealed scores of “Critical Parent, ” “Nurturing Parent, ” “Adult, ” “Free Child, ” and “Adapted Child” of 2.59 1.57, 4.59±1.89, 4.79±1.54, 4.85±1.64, and 4.65±1.64, respectively (n=82). “Adult” scores were higher after clinical practice than before (n = 32, p<0.02, Student's paired t-test). Clinical practice seemed to help students mature and become better able to cope with problems objectively. Education in psychosomatic medicine is an important component of undergraduate medical education.
A survey was conducted by mailing two questionnaires to 80 medical schools to obtain information about their utilization of information technology (IT)-based teaching methods. We found that more than 80% of schools are using ITbased teaching materials and that some 95% have lecture rooms where IT-based teaching is possible. However, only 10% of schools had a specific section that systematically supports the creation of IT-based materials.
Medical students at Kurume University begin practical training in clinical skills in their fourth year. At that time, students use the skills laboratory to improve their clinical skills. Medical education resources in the skills laboratory include simulators for emergency resuscitation and heart diseases, wireless stethoscopes, and videotapes. All students use the skills laboratory for 2 months, and its usefulness was evaluated with questionnaires after practical training. More than 50 % of students approved of their practice in the skills laboratory. However, some students were unsatisfied because they were unable to make effective use of the simulators. In the future, an improved skills laboratory will be necessary to improve practical training in the clinical skills for medical students.
Medical education in Japan has undergone dramatic changes, but nothing less than a paradigm change is required for the educational model for social medicine. In the 23 years since 1978, we have developed a community-based public health education program. The curriculum consists of a core of family health practice, student lectures, systematic teachers' lectures, participatory research on community health, and health policy-making. The community-based educational model was effective in developing students' active problem-based learning, abilities in health communication, and understanding of community needs as a biologic-psychologic-cultural-geographic complex; the empowerment of students and the community; and a comprehensive approach to the community care management which integrates health promotion and social welfare. We evaluated the community-based curriculum design, which exposes students to a wide variety of medical, social, and psychological problems in a community as a useful public health educational strategy.
To provide a “gold standard” for care of trauma patients, the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma developed Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) in 1979. Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) courses are based on ATLS and provide a prehospital trauma care philosophy that stresses the need to multisystem trauma as a unique entity with specific requirements. We participated in “provider courses” and “instructor courses” of PHTLS and were the first Japanese to be certified as PHTLS instructors. PHTLS was designed as a scenario-based program for prehospital care-providers of all levels. PHTLS courses are internationally recognized continuing education programs utilizing various teaching skills. This is the first report on PHTLS courses, which we believe are beneficial for prehospital emergency health care professionals and educators.
We introduced a compulsory medical ethics course for first-year medical students so that they would understand the basis of bioethics thinking and acquire the basic capacity to solve patients' clinical problems. The course consists of 14 school hours, of which 11 were for group discussion of 2 clinical cases and 3 were for whole-class lectures on various ethical issues. Identical, short ethics tests were given on the first and last days of the course. The acceptance level was evaluated on the basis of the score of the second test, reports submitted after group discussions, and class attendance. The scores of the second test correlated with the results of reports of the second clinical case but not with those of the first clinical case. Logistic regression analysis indicated that factors contributing to the acceptance level were the scores of the second test and the attendance rate, which was an independent contributing factor. Furthermore, the scores of the second test, but not of the first test, correlated with the acceptance level. These results indicate that this ethics course is useful for increasing students' thinking about ethical issues.