Final year medical students at King’s College London undergo an 8-week module to enable transition to Foundation Year 1 (FY1). New graduates often cite ward rounds as a challenge and we undertook this pilot to enhance skills not formally incorporated into the curriculum. A teaching session simulating a ward round for final year medical students was piloted at Tunbridge Wells Hospital.
Two-hour teaching sessions were facilitated by medical trainees on a one-to-one basis, where students would see several real patients under direct supervision and conduct a simulated ward round. Facilitators gave feedback on students’ consultation skills after the session.
Quantitative feedback from students was 97% positive overall, and comments showed that students felt the session increased their confidence. Facilitators agreed that the session was good way to help the transition to becoming a real doctor and found it beneficial to get teaching experience themselves.
Ward rounds are an integral part of daily life as a new doctor. However, previous studies have shown that final-year students lack ward round skills, and that this can be improved by simulation. This pilot shows that it is feasible and cost-effective to simulate a ward round involving real patients and thereby preparing students to step up when the time comes.