Milena Gebska, MD, PhD, MME, clinical associate professor in Cardiovascular Medicine, has received one of the first round of Educational Innovation and Scholarship Grants from the college’s Office of Consultation and Research in Medical Education.
Gebska is the director of the internal medicine sub-internship, in which senior medical students gain advanced clinical skills in the specialty before entering residency. Gebska’s accepted proposal, titled “Experiential Module on Informed Consent Communication Skills for Senior Medical Students (Sub-Interns) at Carver College of Medicine,” aims to address a knowledge gap between what first-year internal medicine residents are expected to know and what most have been exposed to or been taught in medical school.
Obtaining informed consent takes “more than just getting a consent form signed,” Gebska said. “Effective communication skills are needed.” The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has designated conducting informed consent conversations as one of the clinical skills in which interns should be proficient when they begin residency. It is one of the AAMC’s Entrustable Professional Activities that our own residency program leadership assesses in the Objective Structured Clinical Evaluations (OSCE) to gain an understanding of incoming interns’ baseline skills.
Although this is a AAMC expectation, Gebska says, “studies have demonstrated that most medical students do not receive any formal training in informed consent communication, which may explain why our interns score lowest on the OSCE station.” As part of her project, Gebska will facilitate focused training for sub-internship students using Simulated Patients in consent conversations. Students will also engage in peer-to-peer evaluation in addition to the formal debriefing and feedback.
Gebska says she is “incredibly grateful for support from OCRME” and that this curriculum will be one more way that Carver College of Medicine graduates can overcome the challenges in transitioning to residency. “Our senior medical students now have an opportunity to learn about and practice important shared decision-making skills in order to better prepare for their postgraduate training.”