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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 42-46

Impact of a week-long physical medicine and rehabilitation clerkship on rehabilitation knowledge of the 3rd-Year medical students in Singapore

Rehabilitation Medicine Department, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shuen-Loong Tham
Tan Tock Seng Hospital Rehabilitation Centre, 17 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 9, 569776
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jisprm.jisprm_41_19

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Context: Physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) is often underrepresented and taught inconsistently in medical schools. Medical students' awareness and understanding of disability and PM&R are often poor. Aims: This study aims to study the impact of a week-long structured PM&R clerkship on 3rd-year medical students' rehabilitation knowledge. Design: This was a retrospective analysis of pre- and post-clerkship multiple choice questions (MCQs). Settings: This was a rehabilitation center within a tertiary care teaching hospital. Participants: Seventy-two 3rd-year undergraduate medical students who underwent PM&R clerkships between November 15, 2016, and January 15, 2018. Subjects and Methods: At commencement, undergraduates were administered Best of Five MCQs based on the program content. Clerkship components included tutorials, prepared reading materials on PM&R, and exposure to various clinical work of the rehabilitation center. The same MCQs were readministered at the conclusion of clerkship. Results: Postclerkship MCQs saw improved scores in 98.6% of the students. The mean MCQs score improved from 14.44 to 20.01 (23.2% gain). Students, who had previous PM&R observership, scored higher in their preclerkship MCQs (16.06 vs. 13.98; P = 0.001). They fared better in components delving into PM&R work, concepts and roles (7.56 vs. 6.04, P = 0.01), and stroke rehabilitation (2.38 vs. 1.82, P = 0.01). Following clerkship completion, 52% of the students were able to describe PM&R using key rehabilitation concepts/principles, and 76.4% would consider PM&R as their career. Conclusions: The study suggests that a dedicated and structured PM&R clerkship in undergraduate medical curriculum improves PM&R knowledge and awareness among the medical students.

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