Image-Guided Approach to Learning Physician Skills Development

Brief outline of the project

Physician Skills Development (PSD) is a mandatory curriculum component of the UGME program at the Faculty of Medicine, designed to teach pre-clerkship medical students clinical skills, including history taking and physical examination skills. These sessions are taught in small groups where students are paired with a tutor and a standardized patient simulates a real patient. The University of Ottawa PSD Booklets are a valuable resource to supplement and enhance the PSD learning sessions. These booklets cover all the PSD course content and there are separate booklets for each of the major components of the curriculum such as MSK, Cardiology, Neurology, GI, Head and Neck to name a few. The current format is text-based with descriptions of clinical exams pertinent signs and symptoms and accompanied by some drawings. While educational, they lack real-life images of clinical signs.

The objective of this project is to develop a real-life image directory of the clinical signs that students review during the Clinical skills course. Images are known to help improve observational skills and pattern recognition [1]. We think this approach will enhance PSD learning by making it more illustrative and engaging for the students.

Each image will be accompanied by a brief descriptive caption. Care will be taken to incorporate pictures of skin of colour as deemed appropriate. Images will be sorted into the directory according to the Unit and Week during which they are taught. This directory will be hosted on the PSD website to allow ease-of-access. The pictures will be acquired from the Internet and will have copyright commons license to avoid copyright infringement issues.


1. Norris E. The constructive use of images in medical teaching: a literature review. JRSM Short Reports. 2012;3(5):1-8.

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