Target-Oriented Clinical Skill Enhancement (TOCSE) Is an Effective Tool to Bridge Didactic to Clinical Learning: A Randomized, Controlled Trial


Purpose: To connect didactic learning to clinical application is a challenging task both for the teachers and students. Target-Oriented Clinical Skill Enhancement (TOCSE) is a teaching and learning tool that integrates basic medical sciences at the clinical level. The authors sought to determine if TOCSE is effective in bridging didactic knowledge to clinical skill and enhancing the clinical performance of fourth year medical students.

Method: Between March 2021 and June 2021, in an online platform, the authors randomly allocated 141 fourth year medical students into the experimental (n=12 groups; n=63) and control groups (n=12 groups; n=78). Participants in the experimental group underwent the TOCSE module workshop while the control group utilized the standard method of teaching. The actively teaching faculty staff blinded of group allocation were invited to assess case presentations using a standardized rubric. A survey was done by the students (experimental and control) to evaluate how they perceived TOCSE to their performance and learning. Independent parametric t-test was performed to compare the clinical skill scores between the two groups.

Results: The experimental group had a mean clinical skill score of 35.29 (SD=2.64, excellent) while the control group had a mean clinical skill score of 31.96 (SD=4.04, satisfactory). The between-group comparisons using independent t-test indicated that the mean difference of -3.33 clinical skills scores between the experimental and control groups was statistically significant (t=–2.39, p=0.026, 95% CI=–6.22 to –0.45). Moreover, the perceived usefulness score (scale 10 as highest) among the TOCSE presenters (experimental groups) was 8.43 (SD=0.84) and scores among the TOCSE audience (control groups) was comparable at 8.36 (SD=0.71), both of which were interpreted as very helpful.

Conclusion: TOCSE is effective in bridging didactic knowledge to clinical skill and enhancing clinical performance of fourth year medical students.

Key words: TOCSE


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