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Contribution of German Academic Institutions of Family Medicine to the Teaching of Physical Examination Skills in Medical School – a Nation-Wide Survey

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2017.0084-0088

german translation / full article

Hannah Haumann, Stefanie Joos, Rebekka Hertkorn, Dirk Moßhammer

Keywords: physical examination family practice undergraduate medical education full-body examination

Background: Physical examination skills are essential basic medical competences. Recent German studies show that last year medical students have deficits in these skills. The aim of this study was to evaluate the contribution of German academic institutions of family medicine to teaching of physical examination skills.

Methods: Cross-sectional study among all 38 academic institutions of family medicine in Germany with descriptive analysis.

Results: 25 of the 38 institutions take a role in teaching of physical examination skills. There are several teaching methods applied: interdisciplinary physical examination courses, courses in preparation for family medicine clerkships, lectures, elective subjects and more. 14 academic institutions of family medicine offer courses in full-body-examination. Classes in full-body-examination tend to be taught early in the clinical part of medical school and in groups of more than 6 students. In most ases, OSCE (obejctive structured clinical examination) was chosen as form of assesment.

Conclusions: Academic institutions of family medicine in Germany contribute to teaching of physical examination skills to a different extent. It is to be expected that the implementation of the “Masterplan Medizinstudium 2020” could emphasize the key role of family medicine in teaching clinical skills including physical examination. Realizing this key role, students will have the chance for a more intense contact with family medicine in medical school and collaboration among different departments offering courses in physical examination skills could be enhanced.


(State: 22.02.2017)

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