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Improving preclinical medical student teaching skills through patient education
  1. Nikhita Kathuria-Prakash1,
  2. Henry Honda1,
  3. Kim-Lien Nguyen1,2
  1. 1 Cardiology, University of California Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, USA
  2. 2 Cardiology, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Kim-Lien Nguyen, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, 11301 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA MC 111E, USA;kimliennguyen{at}

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Teaching patients is a crucial component of a physician’s work. Effective patient education and patient–physician communication improve health outcomes.1 Patients have reported higher satisfaction in clinical encounters with medical students who have good communication skills.2 Even though medical students are interested in teaching and in learning teaching skills, patient education skills are taught to residents and fellows.3 4 Engagement of preclinical medical students in development of educational presentations for patients may facilitate early professional development. The self-explanation effect describes a phenomenon whereby teachers must have sufficient clarity and grasp of the material through the process of self-explanation before teaching learners, which in turn can improve their own understanding of the material.5 We aimed to apply this phenomenon by engaging preclinical medical students as educators and to assess the effect of early engagement on patient education skills and self-directed learning.

Of the 360 preclinical medical students at our institution who were invited to participate, 7 students (n=1 first year, n=6 second …

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  • Acknowledgements We would like to thank Nolan Nardoni, Natalia Vecerek, Niraj Asthana, Rongxi Shan, Cher Huang and Farnoosh Vahedi for their participation in the study.

  • Contributors NK-P designed the study, recruited medical students, created some presentations, created the surveys and drafted the manuscript. K-LN designed and supervised the study, served as a faculty mentor, reviewed the presentations and surveys, and edited the manuscript. HH served as a faculty mentor and critically revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript. This manuscript has been read and approved by all the authors. The requirements for authorship have been met, and each author believes that the manuscript represents honest work.

  • Funding K-LN receives grant support from the American Heart Association (18TPA34170049), the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (R01HL148182) and the Veterans Health Administration (VA-MERIT, I01-CX001901).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article.