Purpose: To investigate the effectiveness of a standardized vascular clinic (SVC) in teaching diagnostic and management skills for common vascular problems, as compared with that of the traditional ambulatory setting. Methods: Third-year medical students participating in the required surgical clerkship participated in this study. Students were randomly assigned to attend either a 4-hour SVC experience (group 1, n = 64) or a 4-hour traditional ambulatory experience (group 2, n = 60). Students completed a satisfaction rating scale and a preencounter and postencounter self-efficacy rating scale at the end of the experience. Student t tests were used to compare the groups in the areas of knowledge acquisition, problem solving, clinical skills and satisfaction with the encounter. Analysis of covariance was used to compare the change between pre and post self-efficacy ratings. Results: Students in group 1 performed significantly higher than students in group 2 in the areas of problem solving, clinical skills, and student satisfaction. They also demonstrated a higher level of confidence in their vascular skills than students assigned to the traditional setting. Conclusion: The SVC may be more effective in teaching problem-solving and clinical skills. It also may promote more student satisfaction with the experience and confidence in clinical skills than the traditional ambulatory setting. Copyright (C) 2000 Excerpta Medica Inc.
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