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PRACTICUM UNIVERSITIES. Research in medical education

Complutense is the first Spanish university to join the Practicum Script project for medical students

From left to right: Dr. Eduardo Pleguezuelos, Dr. Javier Arias and Dr. Jesús Millán.

The Practicum Foundation has a full agenda for the beginning of 2019. At the end of 2018, we celebrated the success of the presentation in Braga of the project to deliver Practicum Script to medical students, and now in February 2019, the first Spanish university joins the project. Last week, Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) joined this international pilot project, placing Spain at the top of clinical simulation during medical education training. Tomorrow, the academic secretary of the foundation, Dr. Eduardo Pleguezuelos, will travel to the British capital to train an editorial team from the Imperial College London. 

Madrid - February 12, 2019. Last Friday (February 8), Dr. Javier Arias, dean of the Medical School at Complutense University of Madrid (Spain), signed an agreement committing his faculty members to implement the clinical reasoning training program Practicum Script in the clinical cycle of the medical education training. Along with his signature were those of Dr. Jesús Millán, vice dean of teaching innovation at UCM, and Dr. Eduardo Pleguezuelos, academic secretary of the Practicum Foundation. According to Dr. Arias, his involvement is driven by "the best interest of our students."

With this agreement, Complutense will bring Practicum Script to its associated hospitals during the academic year of 2019-2020. The program will be implemented as an extracurricular training activity aimed at sixth-year medical students rotating in Internal Medicine. The experience will result in pedagogical research protocols about the first worldwide academic model focused on clinical reasoning. The relevance of Practicum Script is that "what matters is not the diagnosis itself but how to get to it," considers Dr. Pleguezuelos.

For the students, "it is a formative rather than evaluative tool," said Dr. Arias during the meeting. According to the agreement, Practicum is "a useful training tool to promote learning and improving cognitive skills for decision making." The project will include the simulation of twenty real clinical cases of Internal Medicine. During the course, the participants will have access to tutorials related to the methodological aspects of Practicum Script and the use of the platform. "Their commitment will favor their clinical future," said Dr. Millán.

Although the access keys to Practicum Script are expected to be individual to each student, the performance data will be global. The objective is to preserve the participants’anonymity and treat the data with strict reservation and for exclusive use for basic training based on the competence of the medical students. Practicum will provide to Complutense University monthly indicators of the students’work, but the information in no case will be broken down individually. The students who complete the training and are approved will receive a curricular certification of their participation in the project with the signature of the competent authorities.

World leaders 

The agreement is part of a multicenter pilot study to be developed in association with the European Board of Medical Assessors (EBMA). EBMA is a leading organization in medical education and includes, among its members, outstanding personalities, including Cees van der Vleuten, winner of the 2012 Karolinska Prize for Research in Medical Education. In 2017, EBMA described Practicum Script as "an innovative learning solution for problems that should be tested as an educational resource in medical schools." Around fifteen leading centers have confirmed, and the first phase will begin tomorrow (February 13) with in situ training of the authors of the clinical vignettes, who have been selected among the teaching staff of the prestigious Imperial College London.


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