We’ve got a crowd of M1s in the house rapidly approaching the end of their first year. This past week, Kylie Jade Miller, Levi Endelman, Adam Erwood, and new co-host Irene Morcuende took their physical exam skills practical exam; and they discussed some research they did at the intersections of medical and society–the public health implications of the American-as-apple-pie cycle of incarceration, the effects of Medicare expansion have had on access to mental healthcare, what happens when substance abuse sufferers are offered clean needle and Narcan, and whether taxing sugary drinks have an effect on obesity. Dave, seeing an opportunity to torture his co-hosts, put them through a Pop Quiz: can they discern if the research he presents to them is real or from the depths of Dave’s mind? Kylie uses the occasion to let her secret gunner out. Listeners, we offer free advice! Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Few students like exams. That probably wasn’t close-to-mind when, in 1999, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, which accredits medical colleges, decreed that the Carver College of Medicine would incorporate clinical skills assessment into the curriculum. Then, in 2004, the National Board of Medical Examiners began using the Step II Clinical Skills test as part of the United States Medical Licensing Examination. This Step, one of the three that seeks to ensure students are becoming competent doctors, required students to demonstrate their clinical skills on live actors. These actors played standardized roles so that the examination results would be meaningful.
So it was that the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, and MD programs across the country, created the Performance-Based Assessment Program. The PBA program was charged with preparing third-year students for this new exam. They did this the exact same way the NBME did it: by hiring actors to portray patients with various complaints to test what third- and fourth-year students had learned about interviewing such patients.
Since then the program has grown tremendously. Now they don’t just test medical students, but they teach them as well. Things like general physical exam skills, PE skills specific to male and female patients, communication skills, and a lot more.
On this episode, students Cole Cheney, Senuri Jayatilleka, Michael Zhang, and Keenan Laraway joined simulated patients JC Luxton and Mary Nell Jackson meet for a little debate and an exchange of views on their roles as students and ‘fake patients.’