Background: The traditional curriculum for medical students in Japan does not include sufficient opportunities for students to develop their skills for musculoskeletal (MSK) examination and clinical reasoning and diagnosis. Therefore, an effective programme is required to help medical students and residents improve their clinical skills in MSK. This paper aims to assess the clinical skills of medical students who have participated in a peer role-playing simulation programme using a mini clinical evaluation exercise (mini-CEX). Methods: Participants were 90 female medical students who were completing their first orthopaedic clinical clerkship. They were divided into two groups. The simulation group participated in a role-play focussed on MSK cases as low-fidelity simulation, a structured debriefing with the course supervisor, and a self-reflection on Day 1 (n = 64). The control group did not participate in the role-play due to randomised clerkship schedules (n = 26). On Day 2 of the intervention, we observed and assessed all participants’ performances during MSK outpatient encounters using the mini-CEX. We compared the mini-CEX score between the simulation group and the control group; the Wilcoxon rank-sum test was used for statistical analysis. Results: The mini-CEX scores for physical examination, clinical reasoning and diagnosis, and overall clinical competency were significantly higher in the simulation group than in the control group (p <.05, physical examination: p =.014, clinical reasoning: p =.042, overall: p =.016). These findings suggest that medical students who partake in a peer role-playing simulation programme could experience improved clinical skills for physical examination, clinical reasoning and diagnosis, and overall clinical competency in real-life MSK outpatient encounters. Conclusions: Through a mini-CEX assessment, our findings indicate that medical students who participated in our peer role-playing simulation programme have improved clinical skills. Peer role-playing as a low-fidelity simulation and practical educational opportunity will enable educators to polish the competency of medical students in musculoskeletal physical examinations and clinical reasoning and diagnosis in a clinical setting.
- Clinical reasoning and diagnosis
- Musculoskeletal physical examination
- Peer role-playing simulation
- Workplace-based assessment
ASJC Scopus subject areas