Principal Investigator: William Thompson, assistant professor, Department of Physical Therapy, IU School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at IUPUI
Co-principal Investigators: Peter Altenburger, associate professor and chair; Amy Bayliss, associate clinical professor; Valerie A. Strunk, director of clinical education and senior lecturer, Department of Physical Therapy, IU School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at IUPUI
Project Title: Creation of Case-Series Rounds Courses for Enhancement of Clinical Decision Making and Interdisciplinary Interactions
Funding Level: $15,000
Making the right clinical decision is critical for patient care and safety. Such decisions require integration of factual knowledge, as well as context-specific, patient-dependent clinical information. Current models of physical therapy education focus on didactic lectures, providing students with fact-based knowledge. They also provide clinical experiences, helping students translate that knowledge to patient care. However, clinical rotations are extremely varied, often lacking the depth or breadth necessary for development of sound clinical decisions. Case-based learning is a method commonly used in healthcare education where patient cases are presented to help students understand why specific decisions were made during the course of patient care. The literature demonstrates that case-based learning, presented in a case-series rounds format, leads to enhanced student involvement and knowledge retention. Studies also suggest that this learning style improves clinical application of knowledge, ultimately resulting in better patient care. The purpose of this project is to design, implement, and study the effect of adding three case-series rounds courses to the Indiana University Doctor of Physical Therapy curriculum. In these courses, students would engage in an interactive case rounds presentation, from a local expert clinician, who would guide the students through challenging clinical cases, from start to finish. Focusing on critical thinking and the decision-making process, these courses would fill the gap between learned and applied knowledge. They will also be instrumental in fostering a collaborative “culture of learning” among students, faculty, and local clinicians, which will improve the overall delivery of PT services in the Indianapolis area.