Name of the activity: Tutors for the new generation

Country/NMO: Romania (FASMR)

Program: Medical Education Systems

 

Contact information: [email protected]

Type of the activity: Education

 

General description:

The lack of adaptation and difficulty of integration of the 1st year students is an important predictor that leads to high rates of college dropout, stress and susceptibility to mental health issues (i.e. burnout). The Medical Education Department in FASMR Romania designed a project tailored to improve quality standards in education. Selected students, ranging from 2nd to 6th year are designated to be tutors (2 for every 15 freshmen) in the projects’ opening ceremony. Their attributions range from orientation around the campus to giving tips and tricks on representative issues, formal and informal education opportunities, as well as further information, advice and support throughout the year.

As an outcome, freshmen are more orientated, well-informed about the activities undergone by the university or by the local medical organisation. As they became more relaxed, a significant increase in their extracurricular activity was noticed. Students wish to give back what they received, and therefore apply to become tutors. I can proudly state that we formed a community in which the members contribute for each others’ development.
Active involvement of students in detecting and proposing solutions for our medical education (i.e. practical clinical skills scarceness) came as a surprising outcome.

Focus area:

Students’ involvement in medical education | Non-formal/informal education

Problem statement:

The lack of adaptation and difficulty of integration of the 1st year students is an important predictor that leads to high rates of college dropout, stress and susceptibility to mental health issues (i.e. burnout). The transition from secondary to tertiary education is perceived as stressful. Moving to the campus life, corroborated with the decreasing family involvement and increased academic demands add to the unique challenges these students experience.

Target groups and beneficiaries:

1st year medical students from 5 Universities of Medicine and Pharmacy in Romania

Objectives and indicators of success:

General Objectives
– improve quality standards in education
– overcome deficiencies in the Romanian medical educational system, where tutoring projects were not part of the previous paradigm
indicators: if the project extends to all FMOs
Specific Objectives
– build a network through which we offer yearlong support to all the first year students of the Faculties of Medicine in Romania for them to be socially and academically integrated in college
indicators: level of anxiety, the procent of students who apply to become tutors themselves
– create an environment in which the students gain the necessary skills to carefully design a personal approach to learning and academic development
indicators: the level of attendance to the organized events, assessment of the gained knowledge regarding a topic

Methodology:

We await our students’ with an event dedicated to them, entitled “Freshers’ Week”. Selected students, ranging from 2nd to 6th year are designated to be tutors (2 for every 15 freshmen) in the projects’ opening ceremony “Keep Calm and Get a Tutor”. Their attributions range from orientation around the campus to giving tips and tricks on representative issues, formal and informal education opportunities, as well as further information, advice and support throughout the year. The transferable skills essential to medical students are gained through trainings – Public Speaking, Time Management, Building a strong CV and a conference entitled Learning how to LEARN, organized with the help of the training division and faculty members. The University Treasure HUNT ensures that students get accustomed to the campus. In a Scavenger Hunt and a General Knowledge Contest organized later in the semester, social integration is aided through teamwork and fair play. Practical clinical skills are improved thanks to a hands-on workshop ”Medical procedures useful in summer practice”, which instructs freshmen in the following aspects: basic life support; haemostasis; electrodes placement; cardiac monitoring; preparation and administration of medication.

Plans for evaluation:

Assessing the level of anxiety before-after project
Assessing the procentage of students who apply to become tutors themselves
Level of attendance to the organized events
Feedback forms assessing the usefulness and opinions of the participants
A questionnaire assessing the knowledge/practical skills regarding a topic before-after