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Simulating ‘that jaw drop moment’: challenging heteronormative assumptions in a novel clinical consultation skills session with undergraduate medical students


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Canty, J ORCID: 0000-0001-8992-2463, McBain, L and Gray, L 2021 , 'Simulating ‘that jaw drop moment’: challenging heteronormative assumptions in a novel clinical consultation skills session with undergraduate medical students' , MedEdPublish , pp. 1-12 , doi: 10.15694/mep.2021.000034.2.

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IntroductionThis paper discusses the design and impact of a clinical consultation skills session for undergraduate medicalstudents in context of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics. Existingteaching approaches omit opportunities for application and skills practice. This innovation seeks to address this gap.MethodsSenior medical undergraduate students participated in actor-facilitated standardized simulated patient role-play. Thescenarios utilized a structure akin to the end of year final observed objective structured clinical examination. Plando-study-act cycles involving facilitator observation, verbal and written feedback from students and actors,confidential student evaluations, and peer evaluation contributed to session modification and improvement.FindingsThe teaching session offered students the opportunity to practice exam-style simulated patient consultations,communication and empathy skills. Improvements made following the first iteration were reflected in positivestudent evaluations in the second iteration.Discussion and ConclusionSimulated consultations using standardised scenarios represent an accepted format for medical education. Wedemonstrated it is possible to include topics that frequently give rise to discrimination and stigma from medicalprofessionals whilst maintaining expected learning outcomes. Student evaluations identify the acceptability andvalue of the topics for medical education. We present a viable option for integration into medical education.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Canty, J and McBain, L and Gray, L
Keywords: medical education, sexualities, LGBTIQ+, assumed heteronormativity, simulated consultation
Journal or Publication Title: MedEdPublish
Publisher: Association for Medical Education in Europe
ISSN: 2312-7996
DOI / ID Number: 10.15694/mep.2021.000034.2
Copyright Information:

This has been published under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license. (

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