Learning from the best: Evaluation of a near-peer buddy-scheme for OSCEs for final year medical students (Published 2015)
Apr 06, 2016
Bishop K, Green N and Thomas N
Near-peer buddy-schemes are a useful method of teaching students clinical skills. In this study a buddy scheme was developed with the aim of creating a reproducible effective teaching programme.
Introduction: There is very little literature available regarding near-peer buddy schemes as teaching tools for Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) in the final year of medical school. A buddy scheme programme was developed within a District General Hospital. Questionnaires were completed before and after the programme with the aim of introducing a reproducible effective teaching programme for more students.
Methods: 38 students were based in the hospital in 3 separate rotations. All were involved in a buddy scheme, small-group tutorials and a mock OSCE. Pairs of medical students were matched with junior doctor mentors to facilitate their learning in regular student-centred OSCE teaching sessions. This involved patient-based teaching and simulated scenarios in the classroom setting.
Results: The percentage of students who knew what was expected of them in an OSCE significantly increased from 29% to 75% (2 = 13.69, d.f.=1, p <0.001). Prior to teaching, 18.4% students felt that there was enough OSCE teaching in a clinical environment and 44.7% in the classroom setting. Following completion of the programme, both increased to 57.7%. On average, confidence in history and examination skills in clinical and examination settings rose by 21.2%. Initially, 2.7% of students felt that they were prepared for their OSCE. This increased significantly to 48.2% after the teaching programme (2 = 20.22, d.f.=1, p <0.001).
Conclusions: Near-peer buddy-schemes are a useful method of teaching students clinical skills. Our programme has increased students confidence in their own skills both in a clinical environment and in examinations. Buddy-schemes facilitate learning which is individually tailored to each student. The authors encourage others to take up this effective method of near-peer education within similar organisations.
This is an interesting paper drawing together the value of the OSCE and using senior students to teach clinical skills. I was also looking for some evidence that the students increased confidence has transpired into improved OSCE scores and also the variation in what the students need to know, given that the recent graduates may have picked up varying skills as a result of real-world immersion.