Background In Edinburgh in May 2011, the GUM and FP/SRH departments integrated. A priority for the new service was reviewing and improving the undergraduate teaching offered in sexual health.
Aim To increase and improve undergraduate teaching, using experiential learning to develop the skills and attitudes essential for managing patients with sexual health needs.
Methods An OSCE format with interactive demonstration was chosen as the method to achieve these aims. Stations focused on effective communication and developing appropriate skills and attitudes. Three OSCE stations, based on common and important sexual health scenarios, were designed for interactive group work using simulated patients. The fourth station facilitated open discussion of sexuality and its implications for the well-being of patients. Four pilot sessions were run. Feedback questionnaires were given to students, facilitators and simulated patients. Strengths, weaknesses, and suggestions for improvement were requested. Participants were asked to score their level of enjoyment (from 1 to 10). Students also scored the course on how useful it was in meeting their educational needs (see abstract P185 table 1).
Results Feedback was extremely positive. Students felt the opportunity to practice their communication skills within sexual health consultations in a risk-free environment was the main strength. A request for “more scenarios” was the most commonly cited “weakness” and main suggestion for improvement.
Conclusion Following this successful pilot, the programme will now be regularly provided to the undergraduate medical students of Edinburgh. A similar model of teaching could be achieved at other departments, and is a successful way of delivering experiential learning in teaching resource limited settings.
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