How Medical Students Can Perform Better
Lowering stress levels is the first step in improving academic performance
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The pandemic led medical educational institutions to provide clinical education in virtual classes. In response to safety concerns, faculties changed to virtual lessons, putting a stop to clinical rotations and barring many medical students from interacting with actual patients. During this time, it became more difficult to sustain the student's interest and satisfaction with the given standard of instruction. Thus, it impacted the overall academic performance of the students and led to severe stress.
Likewise, information overload, which is viewed as an occupational hazard in the field of medicine, specifically impacting first-year students', results in adverse academic performance. It is stressful because of the heavy and elaborate coursework, which leads to high levels of concomitant stress exacerbating performance issues. To summarise, we can say the main challenge to the academic performance of medical students is ultimately stress.
Following are some ways to improve the performance of medical students:
Integration of clinical and non-clinical subjects
By arousing interest in the courses and inspiring students to read about topics before and after the lecture, a shift in the teaching method from conventional to clinically oriented classes and the integration of clinical and non-clinical subjects may improve student performance in examinations. Such classes include real-world issues, to arouse curiosity and desire for learning and to show practical application.
Students may benefit from the introduction of recreational activities, sufficient lodging, personal counseling and ongoing teacher encouragement to manage their studies properly and do better on exams.
In medical education, feedback is also a crucial and essential component of instruction, as per research. It supports and improves students' professional competence and understanding and increases doctors' overall performance and professional development.
Medical institutions can have a unit with trained faculty to conduct faculty development programs for instilling good feedback-providing techniques. Feedback-seeking behavior can also be exercised as a conscious effort to ascertain whether one's actions are appropriate for achieving important goals. Likewise, MSF evaluation can also be done to get feedback from peers and coworkers and learn more about a person's behaviour.
As per research, a method known as PEARLS can be used to explain the abilities that can foster trust between the teacher and the student for better performance. These abilities include partnership for cooperative problem solving, empathic comprehension, apologies for obstacles, respect for the learner's values and choices, recognition of emotions and intentions and assistance with efforts at rectification.
Simulations and gamification
Simulator equipment replaces actual patients on which a student can repeatedly make mistakes and learn without being concerned about hurting the patient. Medical simulation has been shown to enhance clinical competency in both undergraduate and graduate students.
Stress and emotional factors can make the simulation more realistic and engaging. Even dealing with time restrictions and handling death scenarios can be practiced by students. They will be more motivated to keep practicing in clinical settings if this goal is clear to them. Activities that use gamification are not only entertaining but also educational, build community and rekindle the competitive spirit.
Acknowledging learners’ worries
Learning outcomes can be greatly enhanced by recognising and addressing learners' anxiety.
Teamwork and collaboration
Encourage participation by fostering cooperation and teamwork among groups of medical students. Assign some virtual patients and have them work in small groups to discuss and find solutions. Similar to how clinical judgments are made in real life, each student can provide their thoughts on what they believe is the best course of action.
Blended and outcome-based learning
Low achievers will benefit most from blended learning lectures that are video-based. Additionally, outcome-based learning using kinesthetic learning techniques that include hands-on learning methods like writing, utilising index cards, using your fingers, etc. can also be used. OBE is viewed as a comprehensive approach that offers a powerful and attractive way to manage medical education.
Small private online classes with a few participants and a live, intimate session, are another type of blended learning. The three approaches it is founded on include behavioral, cognitive and relational approaches, support innovations like flipped classrooms, close student monitoring and individualised feedback.
A medical practitioner's success significantly depends on his, her capacity to master personal lifelong learning strategies, as seen by the overwhelming demands of obtaining, organizing, assimilating and integrating pertinent information into usable knowledge.
As a result, lowering stress levels is the first step in improving academic performance. While still significant, all other strategies are secondary in comparison. Ultimately a combination of both will cut the first turf to improve academic performance in medicine.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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