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Schwartz Centre Rounds: a new initiative in the undergraduate curriculum — what do medical students think?

Gishen, Faye, Whitman, Sophia, Gill, Deborah, Barker, Rhiannon, Walker, Steven (2016) Schwartz Centre Rounds: a new initiative in the undergraduate curriculum — what do medical students think? BMC Medical Education, 16 (246). ISSN 1472-6920. (doi:10.1186/s12909-016-0762-6) (KAR id:64105)


Background: Training to be a doctor and caring for patients are recognized as being stressful and demanding. The wellbeing of healthcare professionals impacts upon the wellbeing and care of patients. Schwartz Centre Rounds (SCRs), multidisciplinary meetings led by a trained facilitator and designed for hospital staff, were introduced to enhance communication and compassion, and have since been widely adopted as a way of fostering compassion. The continuum of education suggests that medical students need to develop these attributes in conjunction with resilience and maintaining empathy. The benefits of SCRs in fostering this development in medical students is unexplored. The objective of this study was to examine the potential of SCRs within the undergraduate curriculum.

Methods: Two student–focused SCRs were piloted at a major medical school. The sessions were based on the current format implemented across the US and UK: a presentation of cases by a multidisciplinary panel followed by an open discussion with the audience. Participants were asked to complete an evaluative questionnaire immediately following the sessions. Seven students took part in a focus group to explore their views on the SCR. Data sets were examined using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis.

Results: Feedback was obtained from 77 % (258/334) Year 5 and 37 % (126/343) Year 6 students. Mean student ratings of the session on a five-point scale, where 1 = poor and 5 = exceptional, were 3.5 (Year 5) and 3.3 (Year 6). Over 80 % of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that the presentation of cases was helpful and gave them insight into how others feel/think about caring for patients. Eighty percent said they would attend a future SCR and 64 % believed SCRs should be integrated into the curriculum. Focus group participants felt SCRs promoted reflection and processing of emotion. Students identified smaller group sizes and timing in the curriculum as ways of improving SCRs.

Conclusion: Students were positive about SCRs, preferring them to their current reflective practice assignments. Whether this results in sustained benefits to trainee doctors is yet to be explored. Consideration is given to overcoming the challenges that were encountered, such as optimal timing and participation. Staff training and costs are potential obstacles to adoption.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1186/s12909-016-0762-6
Uncontrolled keywords: Education, Medical student, Teaching, Undergraduate, Curriculum, Schwartz centre rounds, Resilience, Compassion, Burnout, Stress
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Rhiannon Barker
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2017 15:01 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 16:51 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Barker, Rhiannon.

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