Breadth versus volume: Neurology outpatient clinic cases in medical education

Dara V. Albert*, Angela D. Blood, Yoon Soo Park, James R. Brorson, Rimas V. Lukas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined how volume in certain patient case types and breadth across patient case types in the outpatient clinic setting are related to Neurology Clerkship student performance. Case logs from the outpatient clinic experience of 486 students from The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, USA, participating in the 4 week Neurology Clerkship from July 2008 to June 2013 were reviewed. A total of 12,381 patient encounters were logged and then classified into 13 diagnostic categories. How volume of cases within categories and the breadth of cases across categories relate to the National Board of Medical Examiners Clinical Subject Examination for Neurology and a Neurology Clerkship Objective Structured Clinical Examination was analyzed. Volume of cases was significantly correlated with the National Board of Medical Examiners Clinical Subject Examination for Neurology (r =.290, p <.001), the Objective Structured Clinical Examination physical examination (r =.236, p =.011), and the Objective Structured Clinical Examination patient note (r =.238, p =.010). Breadth of cases was significantly correlated with the National Board of Medical Examiners Clinical Subject Examination for Neurology (r =.231, p =.017), however was not significantly correlated with any component of the Objective Structured Clinical Examination. Volume of cases correlated with higher performance on measures of specialty knowledge and clinical skill. Fewer relationships emerged correlating breadth of cases and performance on the same measures. This study provides guidance to educators who must decide how much emphasis to place on volume versus breadth of cases in outpatient clinic learning experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-23
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Volume28
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

Keywords

  • Case logs
  • Medical education
  • Neurology clerkship
  • Neurology education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)

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