506 Headache: How To Teach Diagnostic Skills?

Dr. N.P. van Duijn, general practitioner at Almere,
F. Dekker, general practitioner at Purmerend,
Diagnostic skills commonly are taught by offering scientific knowledge: medical evidence and clinical experience. Post-academic teaching usually is limited to one-way transfer of knowledge, often by speakers who are experts in the field - not necessarily experts in teaching. The literature shows that passive forms of post-academic teaching are not effective. Knowledge alone does not lead to improved professional behaviour. Learning methods in groups are not of common knowledge under general practitioners outside the Netherlands.
Method We plan to submit parallel small group courses, preferable with 15 participants. A chair leads the course, an expert is present with fact sheets to fill in knowledge. We can schedule a real patient interacting with the group of physicians. The knowledge is not presented beforehand, but added during the session. Interactively the case is presented in bits and pieces, mirroring the usual flow of a consultation. At each step participants react to the presented part of the diagnostic problem, guided by the chair.
Results We plan cases, differing in diagnostic complexity and in type of the clinical problems. A number of cases is finished with assessing 'what have I learned?'.
Differences in health care systems lead to an interesting cross-cultural debate. Members of the independent group PCN (general practitioners with special interest in headache) can provide more adequate general practitioners which sufficient experience to preside parallel workshops.