Name of the activity: The Pregnancy Project

Country/NMO: The Netherlands (IFMSA NL)

Program: Teaching Medical Skills

 

Contact information: [email protected]

Type of the activity: Education

 

General description:

By participating in this project, the pregnant woman and the student will contribute to the improvement of (maternal) healthcare. The students will learn more about the experience of being pregnant and can use this knowledge in the execution of their future medical profession. The healthcare employees can use the feedback to improve their work. During the evaluation, the organization of the project and the experiences of the students will be discussed. The pregnant women that participate in this project have mentioned their appreciation for the familiar face of the student during each appointment in the hospital.

Focus area:

Maternal and Child Health Clinical Skills

Problem statement:

There is a high demand to learn more about the doctor-patient interaction in the clinic. However, the current bachelor phase of the medical curriculum in the Netherlands does not satisfy in this demand since medical students mainly learn from the doctor’s point of view. During “The Pregnancy Project”, we aim to give future doctors more insight into the situation of pregnant women. With this project, we hope the student obtains more knowledge from the patient’s point of view. Besides that, we also like to give the students an opportunity to have more contact with patients during their medical study. We believe this experience will help to make them a better doctor in the future.

Target groups and beneficiaries:

Firstly, by participating in this project the student will contribute to improving the healthcare. After every appointment, the student will sent a short summary of the appointment with their learning objectives and experiences to the organizing committee. At least once a year the results of these summaries will be discussed during an evaluation with the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the local hospital. Secondly, future doctors will learn more about the experience of being pregnant. We hope this will make them better and more understanding doctors in the future. “The Pregnancy Project” is an unique opportunity to learn about pregnancy from a patient’s point of view. Besides that, the students get firsthand information in maternal health. Save abortion will not be a main subject in this project but it is possible that the pregnant woman and her partner decide to end the pregnancy. We have not experienced this up to now.
The pregnant women that have participated in this project mentioned that they had really appreciated the familiar face of the student at every appointment in the hospital.

Objectives and indicators of success:

Objectives:
“The Pregnancy Project” of IFMSA – The Netherlands aims to give:
• medical students a better understanding of maternal health during pregnancies;
• medical students a better understanding of pregnancy from the patient’s point of view;
• medical students insight in the consequences of a medical decision for the pregnant woman and her partner;
• medical students practice in doctor-patient communication skills;
• medical students more information about investigations involved in maternal healthcare;
• medical students a better understanding of the psychosocial aspects of a pregnancy;
• pregnant women a pleasant course of their pregnancy.

Indicators of success are:
• the number of participants;
• the appraisal of the project by students, pregnant women and healthcare employees;
• the number of participating healthcare centers.
To measure these indicators we are among other things holding track of all the students and pregnant women who apply to “The Pregnancy Project”. We are also keeping track of the matches that have been made and the progress of every single pregnancy. Students are obliged to submit reports and reviews of the appointments and the course of the pregnancy. The results of these reports and reviews are discussed during an evaluation with the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the local hospital.
We hope to expand the project by collaborating with local obstetrics practices. We are going to keep track of all the hospitals and practices with which we cooperate.

Methodology:

Currently “The Pregnancy Project” is only organized in Leiden. However, we are hoping to start this project in Groningen this year. Ideally, a project coordinator will facilitate during this start-up. The project coordinator could also promote “The Pregnancy Project” in the other six medical faculties of The Netherlands.

“The Pregnancy Project”starts with the application of a medical student and a pregnant woman. The organizing committee will link a student to a pregnant woman and will facilitate the first contact between both parties. The student and the pregnant woman are free to personalize their contact. The student will attend all appointments at the hospital (including labor) unless the pregnant woman makes an objection against the presence of the student. The student will write an evaluation of the appointment and will send this to the organizing committee. The organizing committee will also evaluate the appraisal of the pregnant woman about her contact with the student and the project in general. At least once a year the organizing committee will facilitate an evaluation with the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the local hospital and the students who have participated in “The Pregnancy Project”.

Plans for evaluation:

After every appointment, the student will sent a short summary of the appointment with their learning objectives and experiences to the organizing committee. These experiences will be discussed during the evaluation with the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the local hospital. There will at least be one evaluation each year at the end of the academic year. If possible, multiple evaluations will be held throughout the year.