PURPOSE: Although instructional video plays a major role in medical curricula, its educational effectiveness continues to be measured primarily through subjective evaluation by the students who use it rather than through empirical investigation. The present study used experimental design to determine whether digital video recordings help medical students learn to perform clinical skills more effectively.
METHODS: Over a 5-year period (2006-2010), we compared OSCE performance scores of Year 1 medical students who reviewed videos of musculoskeletal exam instruction prior to skills testing versus those who did not. All students received the same classroom instruction in performing all physical exam procedures. Students in the classes of 2008- 2010 had the additional opportunity to view video recordings of a physician performing the same physical exam competencies posted on an Internet server for voluntary use. We tracked video usage for each student through analysis of server log entries. We compared OSCE scores using One Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) with Bonferroni's Multiple Comparisons test.
RESULTS: Students who viewed videos prior to OSCE testing ('users'; N=194) performed significantly higher in competency skills ratings than those who did not ('non-users'; N=108) (mean=19.30 v.18.93; p<0.05). Video 'users' also had significantly improved scores compared to students in the classes of 2006-2007 who had no opportunity for video review before testing (N=201; mean=18.92; p<0.05). The performances of 2008-2010 'nonusers' showed no improvements over those of students in the 2006-2007 classes. Among the 2008-2010 video 'users', there was no correlation between the number of video files viewed and OSCE performance scores (linear regression R=0.950; p>0.05). Most video use occurred in the week immediately preceding the OSCE.
CONCLUSIONS: Online video review prior to OSCE testing is effective in helping first-year medical students learn clinical physical examination skills. The data further suggest that this benefit is not due to the number of videos reviewed by the student.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/john_pearson1/25/