Peer-tutoring pilot successfully launched

One of OxPal’s long-term aims is to build local medical education capacity in Palestine. On the last field visit to the West Bank in March-April 2014, faculty and student support was obtained to set-up and initiate a near-peer-to-peer tutoring programme, whereby final year students teach the basics of clinical examination and history taking to 4th year medical students as they begin their clinical studies. This is modelled on a similar programme run by Oxford University Medical School.

Mashal Iftikhar, an OxPal coordinator who spearheaded a pilot on 3rd November was delighted. “The day was hugely successful. We ran a small pilot with 4 pairs of final year students training 16 fourth year students in cardiovascular, respiratory and abdominal examinations and also had time to go over the basics of history taking. I communicated and observed via Google chat with one of the tutors heavily involved in organising the programme on the ground, and managed to get some face-to-face feedback with students during the day.”

There has been widespread interest from student participants with several enquiries as to when a follow-up session will be organised. Examples of feedback include:

“I liked how the tutors focused on the most important things that should be known in systematic physical examination, and how they taught us the tricks they used to memorize things, and how they shared their OSCE experience with us”

“I was able to do what i see in videos and read in books in more comfortable way as i was doing it with my colleagues not on a patient or with presence of dr”

The final year participants also enjoyed the experience, with one remarking: “It made me more organized and because [i taught] with another 6th year student I learned also new ways to deliver the information”.

The experience and feedback gained from the pilot will be used to launch a more comprehensive annual programme in the next academic year.