Medical student educators face the constant challenge of developing innovative teaching methods to enhance student learning. Each year, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine dermatology module curriculum is modified through student-faculty feedback and evaluation. From 2007 to 2009, this module consisted of standardized didactic lectures alone, Class of 2008, supplemented with a faculty-led small group, Class of 2007, or a film session of "My Skin's on Fire: Living With Psoriasis," Class of 2009.
We sought to evaluate the differential impact on medical student learning of various teaching modalities, including didactic lectures, a small group, and a film session.
To assess student knowledge, a survey was developed targeting multiple aspects of a common chronic disease (psoriasis) taught in the course. From 2007 to 2009, this questionnaire was given to the sophomore class 1 month after the dermatology module, and to the freshman class 1 year preceding the course to assess baseline knowledge. Through retrospective analysis, the students' performance was compared against curriculum changes to assess the impact of each of these modifications.
The film "My Skin's on Fire: Living With Psoriasis" has not only improved student retention about the most important aspects of this disease, but it has also reshaped how the medical students will respond to and care for these patients in the future.
Michael L. Shelling, MD and Christopher J. Ballard, MD, Department of Dermatology & Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida.
Chi Zhang, PhD, Curriculum Office, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida.
Alexa B. Kimball, MD, MPH, Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
Sharon E. Jacob, MD, Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Diego, Veterans Administration, San Diego, California.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Sharon E. Jacob, MD, Department of Dermatology, University of California, San Diego, Veterans Administration, San Diego, California 92161. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org