BACKGROUND: Case-based teaching with real patient cases provides benefit of simulating real-world cognition. However, while clinical practice involves a prospective approach to cases, preclinical instruction typically involves full disclosure of case content to faculty, introducing hindsight bias into faculty teaching in medical curricula.METHODS: During 2015-2018, we piloted an optional medical school curriculum involving 6-7 one-hour sessions over a 3-month period each year. New groups enrolled each year from first- and second-year classes. A facilitator provided a blinded physician discussant and blinded students with case information during and not in advance of each session, allowing prospective case-based discussions. Cases were based on real patients treated in the Department of Medicine. Clinical material was presented in the chronologic sequence encountered by treating physicians. Content covered a median of 5 patient visits/case (range: 2-10) spanning over months. A 14-item survey addressing components of the reporter-interpreter-manager-educator (RIME) scheme was developed and used to compare self-reported clinical skills between course participants and non-participant controls during the 2016 course iteration.RESULTS: This elective curriculum at Stanford School of Medicine involved 170 preclinical students (22.7% of 750 eligible). During the 2016 course iteration, a quasi-experimental study compared self-reported clinical skills between 29 course participants (response rate: 29/49 [59.2%]) and 35 non-participant controls (response rate: 35/132 [26.5%]); students self-assessed clinical skills via the RIME-based survey developed for the course. Two-sample t-tests compared the change in pre- and post-course skills between course participants and non-participants. Of 15 Department of Medicine faculty members invited as discussants, 12 (80%) consented to participate. Compared with controls, first-year participants self-assessed significantly greater improvement in understanding how clinicians reason through cases step-by-step to arrive at diagnoses (P=0.049), work through cases in longitudinal settings (P=0.049), and share information with patients (P=0.047). Compared with controls, second-year participants self-assessed significantly greater improvement (P=0.040) in understanding how clinicians reason through cases step-by-step to arrive at diagnoses.CONCLUSIONS: Prospective case-based discussions with blinding offaculty and students to clinical content circumvents hindsight bias and may impart real-world cognitive skills as determined by student self-report.
View details for PubMedID 30674302