About Medical Exam Tutor

Frequently Asked Questions

This is a short list of the most frequently asked questions we get here at Medical Exam Tutor. Feel free to get in touch if you have a question which isn’t covered here.

Is it possible to arrange a trial for students and tutors at my institution?

Yes. We welcome the opportunity to run a structured trial at your institution. We are happy to provide access to the system free of charge for a number of students and instructors, normally for a period of around 2 weeks.

What platforms and devices is the programme designed to be accessed from?

The app is primarily designed to be accessed on an iPad (or similar tablet), laptop or PC. It is not smart phone friendly as this simply isn’t practical considering the complexity of our core content.

Our development road map does include a smart phone app that will serve our short cases to help learners study on the go.

Do you have a dashboard for instructors/ tutors as well as for learners?

At the moment, analysis for tutors is being handled offline in the form of a report which we customise and send on a monthly basis. This includes a printable snapshot showing overall class performance, strongest and weakest performers, and strongest and weakest specialties. It also features some highly tabular data which breaks down the performance of each individual and gives instant insights into the students and specialties where improvement is required. We are happy to provide a sample of this report upon request.

 

Integrating this functionality into our online system is among our highest priorities on our development road map.

When a learner finishes a case, are they provided with anything to review and take a deeper dive on that case?

Yes. At the end of the case the learner gets a tabbed learning resource allowing them to review every decision they made, along with all of the positive and negative feedback and a few clinical pearls which were provided by the contributing consultant/attending. Every time the user takes a case, his score is translated into the performance section and he can review this and retake cases based on previous performance data.

While the learner may work through the case relatively quickly, there is hours of potential learning and follow-on work in the process of reviewing the case. We’d also encourage learners to retake a case later and consolidate what they’ve learned. Students who use the programme in this way get the most out of it.

Can institutions contribute their own content?

Our content so far has been contributed by our own network of over 30 consultants and specialty experts, but we are very open to working with instructors and educators in subscribing institutions.

Quality control is our critical consideration. Many other systems work simply as case builders, where users can create their own cases. However each of our virtual patient cases take around 100 hours to produce in terms of getting the case from a contributor, filming the actors, gathering data and results, uploading the case to our system, editing and re editing until the case is perfect.

We encourage our partnering institutions to contribute cases, but we will take on the hard work to ensure that the case meets the highest standards possible.

Are the cases different in different regions in terms of language and protocols?

We have taken care to ensure that the system is suitable for medical curricula around the world, and as such our treatment plans are generic, best practice and discursive. For example, antibiotic treatment may be recommended in a case or anticoagulation may be necessary and a broad discussion of the types and rationale for choosing specific drugs will be furnished in the feedback. The aim of this is to allow for the learner to apply their own specific local protocols to the case in terms of antibiotic or anticoagulant choice and to allow for discussion around the merits or demerits of one treatment plan over another. No treatment plan will be a ‘one size fits all’ for every institution but the way the feedback is constructed, it is intended to supply broad treatment principles rather than specific practices.

Does the platform follow any particular curricula/ guidelines/ protocols etc?

Yes. We reference a number of internationally recognised guidelines, most commonly from:

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) UK
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) US

 

Other examples include:

  • Surviving Sepsis
  • American Heart Association
  • British Thoracic Society
  • American College of Radiology
  • World Gastroenterology Organisation
  • European Association of Urology
  • Renal Physicians Association
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology
  • Guidelines form the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention
  • American Academy of Neurology
  • American Diabetes Society
  • International Diabetes Centre
  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons
What specialties are covered, and how many cases are there in each?

Originally, our focus was on general medicine and general surgery in an acute care setting which included all the major sub-specialties such as vascular, abdominal and cardiothoracic in the surgery section and cardiology, pulmonology and neurology etc. in the medicine section. However, due to high levels of interest from subspecialties – Psychiatry, Paediatrics and Obgyn, we have developed content in these areas.

Every case is specifically built to vertically integrate curricula – for example, in a paediatrics case, there is a lot of learning that will be applicable to patient management across the specialties.

You can download a description of every case available on the system here.

Who contributes the content?

All of the cases on Medical Exam Tutor have been contributed by board certified consultants/ attendings who are in clinical practice in the specialties of general medicine, surgery, obgyn, psychiatry and paediatrics. We have almost 40 contributors to date. We travel to meet the contributor and record an in-depth interview and discussion on a case that they have had a lot of experience in managing. It then takes over 100 hours for our core clinical team to bring the case to life; collecting relevant images, results and data, sourcing and filming actors, uploading, editing and re editing the case. In addition to the clinical content, extra content is built into each case around fluid management, laboratory testing and common protocols (sepsis 6, track and trigger scores etc.) so that the student can learn basic principles throughout every case they take. We then undergo a review process to ensure that it meets our standards before releasing it directly on to the system. Cases are reviewed regularly and upgraded and edited as required.

Does the patient deteriorate or improve depending on the actions the user takes?

No. We use a linear pathway, which allows for a standard learning experience. Branched cases are more suited to attending/ consultant level whereas at an undergraduate/ junior level, we want all learners to understand the correct way to manage a case and have the same learning experience. This allows for the programme to be used in group discussions. We give in-depth feedback on every right and wrong decision, but every learner progresses through the case in the same way.

The presenting vital signs do not change after initial presentation. They remain the same throughout the patient journey and you can refer back to them at any time by clicking the “vitals” box in the left hand corner of the screen. However, within cases where the patient is very unwell, there are short ‘test yourself’ sections that will challenge the learner to make decisions around a similar presentation were the vital signs different. In addition, the management section feedback discusses scenarios where a similar patient with different signs presents.

What is the cost for universities to provide the platform for their students?

We work with several universities to provide Medical Exam Tutor to their senior cycle students where it is integrated into their curriculum delivery. The greater number of users allows us to offer platform access at a substantially reduced price. Get in touch here to learn more about how Medical Exam Tutor is used in universities.

Can I get it cheaper through my university?

Medical Exam Tutor work with universities worldwide to provide the platform at no charge to the student. If you would like to see Medical Exam Tutor available at your university please get in touch.

Can I get it cheaper through my university medical society?

We partner with university medical societies to arrange a discount for their members and to help them with their fundraising efforts. If you would like us to approach your society with this offer please get in touch and let us know.

What payment methods can I use?

Payment is handled directly on our website and we accept almost any kind of credit or debit card. If you are experiencing any issues processing payment, feel free to get in touch.

Is the platform able to handle large groups, a University with 500 students, for example?

Medical Exam Tutor is a stand- alone, cloud based platform, meaning that Universities and Postgraduate Training Bodies are totally free from the costs and effort involved both with IT installation and administration. Large groups can be very quickly set up and added, which we administrate centrally. We are more than equipped to deal with large groups, both in terms of setup and technical support. Learners deal with Medical Exam Tutor directly to resolve any issues, leaving tutors and IT staff to get on with their own work.

Regarding the kind of data we can provide, we work with universities to generate customised reports on a group’s usage, which are received on a monthly basis. We envision this becoming an automated function within a year.

Does the system have performance tracking?

The system records the learner’s performance every time they take a case. It then feeds this performance data back to the student to help them manage their own improvement over time. Learners can use the performance dashboard to view their performance broken down by long and short cases, specialty and case by case easily identifying areas of strength and areas in need of improvement.

Are the cases mainly acute care focused?

The cases range from scenarios where the patient will present and be discharged to home or community care and will not be admitted, to emergency presentations like pneumothoraces or anaphylaxis cases with a higher emphasis on the steps in the initial management stage with the rest of the case dealing with further management plans.

How much is the monthly subscription?

You can subscribe to the system for €14.99/month. Payment will be charged on a monthly basis and can be cancelled at any time. Learn more here.

 

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