PaedsPALS – Teach Paediatrics to undergrads!

What is it?

PaedsPALs is a free teaching resource for foundation year (FY) doctors (and final year medical students) to deliver structured, high quality paediatric undergraduate teaching.

Why we did it?

FY doctors are keen to develop their teaching skills, but are often limited by time constraints, a lack of teaching experience and lack of structured teaching resources. Near-peer teaching is a validated teaching model that is integrated into the curricula of many medical schools, and as such, we developed a structured and integrated paediatric near-peer assisted learning programme (PaedsPALs) led by FY doctors for undergraduate students on their paediatric rotations.

How we did it?

We piloted PaedsPALs at a single district general hospital, with students from two different medical schools. We delivered the course in the form of two small group case based teaching sessions on paediatric respiratory and cardiology conditions, followed by a formative mock-OSCE at the end of placement. Quantitate and qualitative feedback were collected from students and FY doctors using anonymised questionnaires.

The feedback we collated was extremely positive, increasing FY doctors’ confidence in delivering paediatric teaching by 40%. Students enjoyed the programme, and described the case based sessions as “very interactive” and having a “great structure”. They felt the mock-OSCE was “a great way to round off a great placement”.

Learning points

PaedsPALs facilitated FY doctors to gain exposure in paediatric teaching, and the provision of structured teaching materials with clear learning outcomes enabled the delivery of high quality teaching in a time efficient manner.

What our future plans are

We have developed a website (www.paedspals.com) to facilitate tutor recruitment, and to roll of the programme across multiple teaching sites. We will also be continually auditing student and tutor feedback, to ensure consistent, high quality teaching.

If you would like to become a tutor for PaedsPALS, please contact the PaedsPALS team here.