Applicability of monthly CDC case studies to improve reflection in biomedical science students.


Background Academics from De Montfort University (DMU, UK) in collaboration with other EU universities, virologists and first responders are developing training for health science students to deal with biological incidents. Initially the training is being tested with final year students enrolled on the BSc Biomedical Science (Hons) and in the BMedSci Medical Science (Hons) degree programmes in 2016/17 at DMU. To improve the limited clinical skills of these students, a series of parasitology case studies have been introduced, where students will need to reflect on their knowledge and search for information from different sources to propose possible diagnoses. Reflection is an essential learning tool for developing aspects such autonomous working, critical and analytical thinking and integration of theory with practice (Quintanilla et al., 2016). Methods A series of teaching sessions (theoretical and practical) has been created related to emergency preparedness and response (Peña-Fernández et al., 2016). Students are provided with different scenarios to develop an intervention programme to protect human health in the aftermath of a biological incident involving different biological agents including emerging parasites. During the theoretical component of the training students are provided with different slides collected from the Laboratory Identification of Parasitic Diseases of Public Health Concern (DPDx) (CDC, 2016). Students, by peer group interaction, provide a possible “diagnosis” for each clinical case based on the clinical features presented and microscopic slides provided. Critical thinking is encouraged. Results Although our results are preliminary and we need to evaluate the students’ feedback, the introduction of clinical case-studies has shown to facilitate the acquisition of some clinical skills, particularly in the biomedical science cohort. This is informed by the high level of students’ interaction during these sessions and the formulation of appropriate questions. Students have also shown some gradual improvement in the resolution of clinical case studies throughout the course. Conclusions Despite the fact that student feedback will not be collected until the end of the course, students have display strong engagement and interest in these workshops through interim module level feedback. A priori, these case-studies have been shown to be effective in facilitating the acquisition of different transversal competences including critical thinking, clinical skills, communication and team work.



Reflection, Biomedical Science, Clinical skills


Peña-Fernández A., del Águila C., Fenoy S., Magnet A., Izquierdo F., Evans MD., Lobo-Bedmar MC., Peña MA. (2017) Applicability of monthly CDC case studies to improve reflection in biomedical science students. ASM Microbe 2017. New Orleans, US, June 2017.


Research Institute

Institute for Allied Health Sciences Research
Leicester Institute for Pharmaceutical Innovation - From Molecules to Practice (LIPI)