Walk a mile in my shoes: A chronic illness care workshop for first-year students

Anthony F Jerant, Bridget Levich, Thomas Balsbaugh, Sue Barton, James Nuovo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: A number of educators and recent medical school graduates have suggested a need to expand predoctoral training in chronic illness care. We developed a workshop to enhance first-year students' self-awareness regarding attitudes toward chronic illness care and to help them communicate effectively around patient self-care. Methods: Students participated in a two-part workshop incorporating lectures, patient-centered interviewing role-plays, and an assignment requiring students to "have" a chronic illness and perform self-care tasks for 2 weeks. We assessed impact on chronic care knowledge by comparing pre- and post-workshop quiz scores. We also reviewed student evaluations of the experience. Results: Of 96 students, 86 (90%) attended Session 1, and 91 (95%) attended Session 2. The mean (standard deviation) knowledge score improved from 6.4 (1.5) before the workshop to 8.4 (1.2) after the workshop (10 points possible). Of 53 students (55%) who completed an evaluation, most perceived the value of the workshop, including the self-care assignment and role-plays. Some felt more positively about chronic illness care following the workshop, and many indicated additional chronic care training in the clinical years would be welcome. Conclusions: An introductory workshop for first-year students led to increased knowledge of and improved attitudes toward chronic illness care. Longitudinal training in chronic illness care should be considered in predoctoral education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-26
Number of pages6
JournalFamily Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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