Teaching Psychiatry to Undergraduates: Peer-Peer Learning Using a "GP Letter"
AuthorCastle, D; Sanci, L; Hamilton, B; Couper, J
Source TitleACADEMIC PSYCHIATRY
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsCastle, D; Sanci, L; Hamilton, B; Couper, J, Teaching Psychiatry to Undergraduates: Peer-Peer Learning Using a "GP Letter", ACADEMIC PSYCHIATRY, 2014, 38 (4), pp. 433 - 437
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OBJECTIVE: The authors describe a novel peer-peer learning activity with medical students, encompassing a specialist psychiatrist-general practitioner (GP) dyadic interchange of letters, and a group discussion facilitated by a GP and a psychiatrist to enhance students' appreciation of the complexities of psychiatric assessment and formulation, emphasize the importance of the GP in the comprehensive longitudinal care of people with a mental illness, and improve students' written communication skills. METHODS: Quantitative and qualitative methods were employed to evaluate the activity. RESULTS: Twenty-eight fifth-year medical students undertook the learning activity; of these, 20 completed the questionnaires and 18 participated in the focus groups. Quantitative feedback was good, with most agreeing or strongly agreeing that the activity met the learning objectives. The qualitative outcomes suggested the students found the exercise relevant and useful in clarifying their communication style regarding a patient with a psychiatric problem. CONCLUSIONS: The use of peer-peer learning using a "GP letter" can go some way towards meeting a number of teaching and learning challenges pertinent to psychiatry.
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