Field of medical education is already highly developed and is also growing exponentially in the number of scientific papers. Medical education approaches based on research results are also addressed at international conferences, where our students and faculty leadership have gained several innovative ideas on curriculum development and where a continuous quality improvement of medical education and future physicians’ competency assessment are is especially emphasized. We have also contributed over 20 international conference presentations so far.
Faculty of Medicine University of Maribor prepared its basic curriculum structure by consulting Oulu and Manchester before 2004, then in 2009 followed the Bologna curriculum reform. Despite the fact that our curriculum was changing through all eight years of existence, especially in light of high social responsibility our medical school strives to provide a high level of ongoing improvement, which today has its stem and support in the CME. We believe that a continuous curriculum development is one of the most important tasks of any medical school.
In short we can present a successful example of the curriculum development over the last three years in the field of internal medicine. In the academic year 2010/2011 we introduced an elective subject Selected topics and novelties in propedeutics in Year-3. After two years, based on the evaluation, results and progress in the knowledge and skills of the students, we included some specific themes in the compulsory subject Internal medicine and propedeutics in Year-3. Thus, in the academic year 2012/2013 all Year-3 students were taught basic clinical skills (history taking and clinical examination) through simulations and peer-assisted learning under mentors supervision. Before being eligible to enter the wards and work with the patients, students needed to pass an objective structured clinical examination (Photo 1), which is also new in undergraduate studies in our country. In this way we ensured minimum standards of knowledge and skills of students before working with the patients and increased the educational usefulness of the practical teachings on the wards as students entered them with good basic knowledge. In the academic year 2012/2013 we also included workshops for Year-6 students in compulsory Internal medicine – practical work, during which they practice various clinical interventions in Clinical Skills Laboratory before actual clinical training on the wards.
Other curricular changes in internal medicine in this period were:
- keeping and assessment of patient records (medical histories and examination),
- practicing practical procedures on simulators,
- single best answer multiple choice questions development,
- seminar improvement,
- introduction of feedback after interim assessment,
- update of the final examination.
Our curriculum amendment proposals will be based on good foreign practice transfer, selfevaluation, reflection, and research.
Photo 1: Year-3 students during objective structured clinical examination on different stations.