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An undergraduate Otolaryngology curriculum comparison in the United Kingdom using a Curriculum Evaluation Framework

Abstract

Objective

1.To compare undergraduate Otolaryngology curricula in the United Kingdom.

2.To develop a tool which would allow undergraduate specialty curricula to be compared.

Design

Development of a Curriculum Evaluation Framework and survey.

Setting

UK medical schools.

Participants

Otolaryngology curricula were requested from all 32 UK medical schools who award a primary medical qualification. 19 curricula were received and examined.

Main outcome measures

A thematic and content analysis of curriculum documents was undertaken. Outcome measures include an examination of curriculum content and methods, type of assessment and alignment of curricula with the General Medical Council's Tomorrow's Doctors document.

Results

Learning objectives were listed by 18 of the 19 medical schools who responded. The most commonly included theme was clinical conditions (100%). Psychosocial aspects of otolaryngology was the least covered theme (37%). Examination skills were covered by the majority (74%).

Outpatient clinics and theatre attendance were the most commonly utilised teaching methods (47%). Student checklists were the most common form of assessment (32%). Only 4 medical schools linked their curricula to the GMC's Tomorrow's Doctors document.

Conclusions

The development of a Curriculum Evaluation Framework allowed for a systematic comparison of curricula. This study, evaluating Otolaryngology curricula, has highlighted the variability of curricula from both a content and methods perspective in the UK.

The study provides those involved with curriculum planning an overview of the main themes currently taught in the UK and offers examples of individual topics. It also offers an insight into the way in which Otolaryngology is taught in the UK.

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