To determine the effect of a medical school adolescent medicine workshop on knowledge and clinical skills using standardized patients.
Randomized controlled trial.
The University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington.
A total of 186 third-year medical students.
Medical students assigned to the intervention group (n = 95) participated in a 4-hour adolescent medicine workshop using standardized patients to practice interviewing and counseling skills. Medical students assigned to the control group (n = 91) participated in an alternative workshop.
Medical student adolescent interviewing and counseling skills were assessed using adolescent standardized patient encounters during the end-of-clerkship examination and during the end of the third-year Clinical Performance Examination. Medical student knowledge was assessed at the end of the clerkship using an open-ended postencounter written exercise and the questions specific to adolescent medicine on the clerkship written examination.
Both groups had comparable baseline characteristics. Medical students in the intervention group scored significantly higher on both measures of clinical skills, the standardized patient stations during the end-of-clerkship examination and the Clinical Performance Examination. Intervention medical students also scored significantly higher on both measures of knowledge, the open-ended postencounter written exercise and the written examination.
A brief adolescent medicine workshop using standardized patients improved medical students' knowledge and skills at the end of a 4-week clerkship, and the improvement in clinical skills persisted at the end of the third year of medical school.