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Psychotropic Medication Informed Consent: A Cross-Specialty Role-Playing Skill Builder

  • Diana, Emily1
  • Hamaoka, Derrick2
  • Goldenberg, Matthew3
  • Cozza, Kelly L.4
  • 1 Fourth-Year Medical Student, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine
  • 2 Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
  • 3 Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine
  • 4 Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Published Article
MedEdPORTAL : the Journal of Teaching and Learning Resources
Association of American Medical Colleges
Publication Date
May 05, 2021
DOI: 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.11152
PMID: 34013021
PMCID: PMC8096884
PubMed Central
  • Original Publication


Introduction Obtaining informed consent (IC) is an essential medical practice. Utilization of IC role-playing training with medication study cards and self-peer-supervisor review should improve student fund of knowledge and strengthen IC skills for clerkship-level medical students. Methods Between 2017 and 2020, approximately 555 clerkship medical students used our formative role-playing exercise tools. Students independently prepared psychotropic medication study cards and role-played IC during group didactics. Peer and supervisor reviews were not recorded but were discussed as a group. Students completed routine anonymous postclerkship surveys regarding the IC exercise. An enhanced IC curriculum was deployed in 2020, adding a training video and peer/supervisor feedback form. Student feedback and specialty shelf exam scores were reviewed to assess the exercise's effectiveness. Results Surveys indicated satisfaction with the exercise and increased confidence in obtaining IC. Interestingly, the student group that received enhanced IC training had fewer shelf exam failures than those without, perhaps indicating improved fund of psychotropic medication knowledge. Discussion Peer role-playing IC training is well accepted by students, allows practice of essential elements of IC and shared decision-making, and provides an engaging way to improve medication fund of knowledge. Our clerkship has initiated development of an IC objective structured clinical examination station and is adapting the exercise across specialties for longitudinal learning in response to the positive feedback and ease of use. Structured review of psychotropics and peer IC role-playing can be tailored for other specialties, medications, and procedures and further developed for use in pre- and postclerkship education.

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