Introduction of a skills boot camp for final year undergraduate medical students entering internship in General Medicine in a North Indian medical college: A pilot study

Nalin Kumar Mahesh, Niket Verma, Charu Mohan, Ashwin Mahesh, Puhup Verma, Rahul Mannan


Introduction: During internship students acquire basic clinical skills and hands on clinical experience. Although the interns are supposed to learn these clinical skills under supervision, this is not always possible. Even though the Medical Council of India, in its VISION 2015 Document has emphasised on “Early Clinical Exposure” and clinical training from first year, medical education in India remains highly oriented towards theoretical learning. Theoretical learning of clinical skills and procedures is not sufficient to handle the various clinical scenarios that the interns face everyday.

Materials and Methods: A 3 day ‘Skills Boot Camp’ was conducted in the Department of Medicine. The boot camp included skills from (and related to) the speciality of General Medicine. A total of 13 students who entered General Medicine for the first internship posting participated in the boot camp.

Results: All 13 participants showed an increase in their knowledge and confidence levels in the targeted skills. All faculty members agreed that after attending the skills boot camp the interns were able to perform their duties efficiently, displayed improved communication skills and were better prepared in dealing with difficult patients and angry relatives.

Conclusion: A skills boot camp which targets basic communication and clinical skills was well received by the interns and faculty alike. Both the interns and the faculty agreed that the skills boot camp should be incorporated as a permanent feature of internship and reported high overall satisfaction levels with the camp.                                                

Keywords: Internship and residency, Curriculum, Clinical competence, Physician-patient relations.

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