Faculty Share Insight into Communicating Effectively with Struggling Students in the Clinical Setting at Spring OCEF 2022

Faculty Share Insight into Communicating Effectively with Struggling Students in the Clinical Setting at Spring OCEF 2022

Recording Now Available on ASCO’s YouTube Channel

The ASCO Online Clinical Educators Forum (OCEF), in its eighth year, took place on June 3. The event, presented by the ASCO Clinical Affairs Committee, continued the overall theme of communication first featured at the fall 2021 OCEF, only this time concentrating on communication with students and highlighting strategies for effectively precepting them. The four segments that comprised the event featured a total of five presenters, including one current optometry student who detailed his experience with clinical enhancement. The program had the highest OCEF registration to date.

Dr. Alicia Feis, Dean at AZCOPT and chair of the ASCO Clinical Affairs Committee shared that, “The Online Clinical Educators Forum was created as a means to share important clinical practices from the various schools and colleges of optometry, to increase the robustness of our teaching ‘toolbox’ that we as ophthalmic educators use to enhance our clinical teaching.

“The topics chosen over the years mirror the current challenges that faculty face and promote further educational development professionally and personally with various audiences such as students, faculty and patients. In the last few years, the forum has evolved to create more opportunity for discussion on best practices and lessons learned in a conversational format between speakers and audience members. This evolution has built a structure of stronger mentorship and eagerness for continued collaboration amongst us all in our continued pursuit of becoming better optometric and clinical educators,” Dr. Feis continued.

Speakers and topics for the Spring 2022 OCEF included (in presentation order): Dr. Amy Steinway of SUNY, Communicating with Struggling Students; Dr. Adam Blacker of AZCOPT, Teaching Strategies for Struggling Students; Dr. Katie Foreman, with student Jason Dunne, of ICO, Confidence Levels and Mindset of the Struggling Student; and Dr. Jennifer Reilly of NECO, Providing Effective Feedback to Struggling Students. Question and answer time was built into the program at the conclusion of each segment.

Dr. Amy Moy of NECO, who co-chairs the OCEF Planning Subcommittee, moderated the first half of the program. She said of the first two sessions, “Dr. Amy Steinway [of SUNY] thoughtfully stressed the importance of both students and preceptors understanding expectations from the beginning of the clinical rotation. She described different communication styles and how to use these styles as tools to enhance communication with students of diverse learning methods. Dr. Steinway shared important strategies such as the 1-minute preceptor method and using the Facilitative Communication style for a more feelings-based interaction when personal issues may be a factor in clinical performance.”

Dr. Moy continued in saying, “We were fortunate to also have Dr. Adam Blacker [of AZCOPT] on the panel to discuss the importance of documentation of feedback to students, as well as noting their progress along the way. He shared that the organization of information in a student's brain differs from the organization in a preceptor's brain and that one should aim to remediate to the average level of student clinician, bringing them from the mindset of a technician to that of a doctor.”

Dr. Valerie Kattouf of ICO, who also co-chairs the OCEF Planning Subcommittee and moderated part two, said the event “was a unique opportunity for optometric educators to share various perspectives on how to work to help our students succeed in the clinical arena.”

“I was struck by how each presenter was passionate about learning new tools to be the best instructor possible and transferring that to a model to student success,” Dr. Kattouf continued. “Each presenter had a unique perspective all the while integrating the topics of communication, strategy, feedback, and confidence so seamlessly.”

She added that the presentation featuring Dr. Foreman and Jason Dunne (a current fourth year student at ICO) was particularly insightful. “Jason shared his experience as a student who struggled in clinic during his third year, relaying that his initial mindset was a discouraged and anxious one, but that his experience with clinical enhancement/remediation was a positive one.

“A clinical plan tailored to strengthen the areas he was not exceling in helped him shift from a mindset of fear to one of confidence and success, and many of the OCEF participants recognized the courage it took for Jason to share his story with such honesty and integrity.”

Clinical faculty and others interested in viewing the Spring 2022 OCEF program may now find it on the ASCO YouTube Channel.

Individuals interested in learning more about the ASCO Clinical Affairs Committee and its programs should contact the committee’s liaison Carol Brubaker, Manager of Professional Affairs at cbrubaker@opted.org.