Professor Sandy Cook, Senior Associate Dean of Education, Duke-NUS Medical School (Duke-NUS), is a firm believer of interactive learning that is engaging and fun. This explains why she has been the chief advocate of team-based learning, which undergirds the TeamLEAD (Learn, Engage, Apply, Develop) method used in Duke-NUS.
Looking beyond TeamLEAD, Professor Cook has also driven the board game teaching theory, which has been utilised for professional and faculty development within the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medicine Education Institute (AMEI).
The board game strategy facilitates learning through role-playing as professionals in a clinical environment, including medical students, nurses, clinicians and other allied healthcare workers. “I feel that getting people to practise what is taught through games and role-playing is way more impactful than just delivering content at lectures,” said Professor Cook.
This strategy has helped sharpen learning across the SingHealth Duke-NUS AMEI. “The board game theory has helped to train faculty in a fun and non-intimidating way. Bedside teaching, for example, has made faculty members realise the importance of engaging learners of different levels during ward teaching,” said Dr Sonali Prashant Chonkar, Adjunct Assistant Professor, SingHealth Duke-NUS Obstetrics & Gynaecology Academic Clinical Programme and Staff Physician at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH).
Dr Jill Lee Cheng Sim, Associate Consultant, Department of Urogynaecology, Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KKH, has also upped her teaching game with this approach. Using games to teach medical students, she said, has helped to increase learner engagement and information retention.
In fact, her newest game for Duke-NUS students, the Urogynaecology Million Dollar Money Drop, was adapted from a television game show. “Since gamifying my teaching, students have been more vocal in class discussions. Importantly, they are having fun while learning, which also helps them remember the content. Student feedback has been encouraging so far, and I look forward to using game theory more in future classes as it is also more fun for me,” said Dr Lee.
With positive feedback on such interactive learning, KKH is working on a new project that incorporates this. Known as the ‘PRISTINE’ framework, it aims to better equip clinical teams on ward rounds with the skills to deliver timely and accurate diagnoses. This is done through mock ward discussions.
Professor Cook has provided her guidance on the ’PRISTINE’ framework, which is co-led by Professor Chay Oh Moh, SingHealth Duke-NUS Paediatrics Academic Clinical Programme and Campus Director, Education Office and Emeritus Consultant, Respiratory Medicine Service at KKH. The project will involve interprofessional teams of practising doctors, nurses, allied health and medical students.
“The team never believed that you could achieve patient care and teaching in a sit-down interprofessional round and not delay the daily ward activities such as discharge time. With use of a specific framework and IT support, this pilot has shown that it is doable. Furthermore, improved communication between the teams will reduce miscommunication with patients and with inputs from the team members in timely manner, there will be reduced need for multiple transition and delays in treatment, which will positively impact patient outcome,” said Professor Chay. The pilot phase of this project is now completed and it will be rolled out in full force in various hospitals around Singapore with further enhancements.
Professor Cook has also led in the creation of video vignettes to further develop healthcare professionals. These videos provide learners with constructive feedback on their performance, in order for them to improve their delivery of patient care.
“Learning through growth and development is of paramount importance in interprofessional teams. And as a learning institution, we take pride in advocating for innovative teaching methods to deliver better outcomes for the future of tomorrow’s medicine,” summed up Professor Cook.
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