Training in Neurology: Neuro Day: An Innovative Curriculum Connecting Medical Students With Patients

Objective

To determine whether increased patient interaction, exposure to the neurologic examination, and access to positive neurology mentors increase interest in neurology for first-year medical students.

Methods

Neuro Day was a 2-part experience for first-year medical students. The first part consisted of a flipped classroom to teach the standard neurologic examination. The second part involved patient encounters modeled off of the traditional patient rounds. Students rotated from room to room, listening to patients’ experiences with different neurologic diseases and eliciting pathologic neurologic examinations. Students were surveyed before and after Neuro Day.

Results

The result of the binomial test indicated that the proportion of medical students interested in neurology significantly increased from 78% to 85% (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.79–0.92; p = 0.034) after participating in Neuro Day. The proportion of students’ knowledge of clinical neurology increased from 45% to 63.1% (95% CI 0.54–0.72; p < 0.0001), comfort with performing a neurologic examination increased from 30% to 78.4% (95% CI 0.70–0.86; p < 0.0001), and fear of studying neurology decreased from 46% to 26% (95% CI 0.17–0.34; p < 0.0001) following Neuro Day. One hundred percent of students indicated that they would recommend Neuro Day to their peers.

Conclusion

Neuro Day is a feasible and effective model to incorporate into medical education. There was increased interest in and decreased fear of neurology. We anticipate that this paradigm can be used in the future to encourage students to consider a career in neurology.

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