Educational Methodology

3. Educational methodology

This course component employs a variety of educational methodologies including small group sessions, a field experience, reflective practice activities, a population health assessment, dissemination of findings (poster presentation) and continuous self-learning activities. This course fosters community engagement, the process by which organizations and individuals develop and nurture relationships for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of equitable partnership and reciprocity.

Small group teams (September – November)

Students rank their top five choices for a clerkship team and are assigned by faculty to enable maximizing the mix of medical and advanced practice nursing students. Students meet for the first small group introduction with academic and community faculty in late September and then convene again in mid-October. Preparatory readings are assigned for all students (located at end of this document) in addition to population-specific readings and resources identified by team leaders.

Field experience (October)

The core field experience occurs over two weeks in October. The field experience is structured to provide the students with ten full days of learning, i.e. 6 hours of active learning, plus 2 hours of additional study per day. There is some flexibility due to travel and scheduling with community agencies. 
Early in the field experience, working with the community preceptor and academic faculty team leader, students confirm the focus to develop and implement a service activity. As part of their field experience, students should collect data pertaining to a health related issue faced by the population of focus, and learn about the array of available services and ongoing advocacy initiatives. An optional Population Health Framework worksheet is available to guide teams through this process.  Through reflective exercises, students will demonstrate awareness of background material and ability to reflect on its application in the context of their team-based experiences. Students are expected to participate actively in the clerkship experience and collaborate on a service project, and to create and present a poster to the UMMS community in November, as detailed in the assessment section. 

Academic faculty team leaders and community preceptors should help students identify the necessary sources of data, including contacts with other agencies and providers. As relevant, students may spend time at agencies to develop an understanding of the service network. These agencies include those providing direct patient care, and regulatory and other agencies that have an impact on direct service delivery. 

When possible, it is expected that community preceptors will provide students with an opportunity to observe the impact of a population health problem at the individual level. Scheduling for this type of opportunity should begin early in the clerkship so that students will be able to interview a patient and perhaps his/her family to understand the impact of the health problem on a patient and understand a patient's experience of receiving care. An understanding of a patient's pathway through the health care system will likely prove invaluable to understanding some of the services provided for a particular problem/issue.

Dissemination to community (November)

A poster session at the end of the immersion experience provides each group an opportunity to synthesize their experiences and findings. It also serves as a means to exchange information among groups. Through the posters, students present an analysis of data gathered within the Framework, as well as a summary of their field experience and service project to fellow students, faculty, and community members.  The most recent batch of posters is available from the left navigation menu on this page.