Fifteen Years of Experience from a Medical School’ Clinical Skills Laboratory

José Miguel Pêgo, João José Cerqueira, João Bessa, Vitor Hugo Pereira, Sara Gomes, José Mariz, Rita Sousa, Pedro Morgado, Nuno Sousa


Introduction: Medical Education has evolved being defined as a continuum of the medical training from the pre- to the post-graduate period and through a lifetime of medical practice that is mirrored in the competencies framework that several international institutions have established. This creates a challenge to educational institutions (pre- and post-graduate) that traditionally take separate pathways.
Material and Methods: The present report is a description of the efforts carried by the School of Medicine of the University of Minho to implement a strategy of teaching/learning methods that follows modern standards towards constructive alignment of the medical curriculum, from the pre- to the post-graduate. The faculty members responsible for these activities make a narrative self-report of the activities developed and where available quantitative data from participant surveys are presented.
Results: In order to achieve a constructive alignment of educational/assessment strategies several steps were taken that focused on the revision of the learning goals, teaching methodologies and assessment strategies. This implicated the investment in the training/
certification of faculty, acquisition of simulation tools and a dedicated infrastructure. Alumni were a fundamental cornerstone as voluntary faculty contributing to pre-graduate training, but also training their own scholar skills. Overall, courses are rate with a high rate of satisfaction among course participants.
Discussion: Setting up the present teaching/learning environment of the School of Medicine of the University of Minho required a collective effort of the faculty, as well a progressive investment in both acquisition of equipment and training of staff. These human and material efforts, however, lead to an excellent return in learning outcomes.
Conclusion: The main conclusion is that the constructive alignment of educational and assessment strategies towards the medical education continuum needs reflective thinking on the learners’ needs. The secondary gain of these initiatives is to provide opportunities for junior doctors to practice teaching.


Clinical Competence; Computer Simulation; Education, Medical/methods; Patient Simulation; Portugal; Simulation Training

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