Academic ability and teamworking in medical students.
journal contributionposted on 07.05.2019, 15:23 by Rupert Parker, Laurence Hodierne, Elizabeth S. Anderson, Robert S. M. Davies, Marianne Elloy
BACKGROUND: Teamworking is an essential skill for a doctor to develop in order to work effectively, and is required in the UK as part of the General Medical Council (GMC) Good Medical Practice guidance. Assessment of teamwork may be difficult, however, with medical school assessments being more commonly focused on knowledge and individual skills. We aim to explore the link between academic ability as measured at final medical examinations and teamworking. METHODS: All final-year medical students were asked to attend a simulation session in an immersive 22-bed simulated ward, which used a combination of patient simulators and high-fidelity manikin simulators, with nursing and telephone support. Students were split into separate groups stratified by performance in final-year assessments or in groups with mixed performance. Students were observed in real time by faculty staff and assessed with the individual Teamwork Observation and Feedback Tool (iTOFT), around which the debriefing was centred. Assessment of teamwork may be difficult RESULTS: The performance of 119 students in simulation was assessed, and groups with a mix of academic performance showed significantly greater teamworking ability as measured with the iTOFT as compared with those stratified by performance (p = 0.045). Final assessment at medical school was shown to be a poor predictor of teamworking ability: those who performed best at assessment seemed to underperform in teamworking. DISCUSSION: The simulated-ward learning activity received positive feedback, although the mix of patient simulators and high-fidelity manikins proved a challenge to some students. Medical school assessments appear to be inadequate in the assessment of teamworking ability, with change needed in future to ensure that this and other non-technical skills are assessed.