Medical school course wins Teaching Innovation Prize

April 25, 2017  //  FOUND IN: News

A U-M Medical School course that is a prominent part of the new medical student curriculum is one of five faculty projects to receive a Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize (TIP) for creative and inventive approaches to improving student learning.

While medical students historically have learned about clinical reasoning in a more hands-on approach through clinical duties, the Chief Concern Course (CCC) is a dedicated course that teaches students an approach to clinical reasoning. The study of “how doctors think” is a rapidly growing field in medicine, with its value underscored by studies and guidelines that demonstrate clinical reasoning to be a significant cause of misdiagnosis, inappropriate testing and medical error.

The CCC is co-directed by Michael Cole, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine, and Sandro K. Cinti, M.D., professor of internal medicine. Michelle M. Daniel, M.D., assistant dean for curriculum and assistant professor of emergency medicine and learning health science also is credited in the award submission.

Whereas the hands-on approach expected students to learn through observation and informal discussion, the CCC is a longitudinal, case-based curriculum that encourages students to engage in largely analytic thinking while honing their skills to interpret patients’ symptoms and connect them to patterns of disease.

According to the team’s application, “We are teaching students a method to approach how to think about clinical disease and treatment to offer students a ‘framework’ on which to hang the content knowledge from other courses. This has been well received by students as a way to offer meaning and context to otherwise isolated diseases processes.”

Medical student Genevieve Allen wrote that the CCC is unique because of its integration of technology, innovative methods to encourage student collaboration and feedback, and the use of authentic clinical classes in small group settings.

“The CCC encourages collaboration by implementing the jigsaw cooperative learning technique,” Allen said. “This allows us to become mini experts on a certain disease, to share this knowledge with our peers and to collaborate as a team to come up with a refined diagnosis for the patient in the case scenario.”

The winning TIP projects were selected from 65 nominations from 13 schools and colleges. Each project receives $5,000.

The entire university community is invited to meet the winning teams at a poster fair and breakfast from 9-10 a.m. on Monday, May 1 in the Michigan Union Rogel Ballroom.

Read more about the Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize, including the four other recipients, by clicking here.