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Original article

Vol. 153 No. 4 (2023)

Remodelling family medicine teaching at the University of Lausanne using a modified Delphi method

  • Baptiste Pedrazzini
  • Marie-Claude Boulet
  • François Héritier
  • Pierre-Alexandre Bart
  • Nicolas Senn
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2023;153:40064


BACKGROUND: In the context of implementing a new framework for pre-graduate medical education in Switzerland (PROFILES) and the ongoing reform of the medical curriculum at the Faculty of Biology and Medicine of the University of Lausanne, we set out to determine the priority teaching themes of family medicine and to collect expert opinions about the most appropriate teaching methods for family medicine. Such data would contribute to the production of a coherent family medicine teaching programme encompassing its specificities as well as future challenges facing medicine in general.

METHOD: We mapped the current family medicine courses at the Faculty of Biology and Medicine to obtain an overview of current learning objectives and teaching content priorities. We classified and analysed the lessons using the PROFILES grid and the principles of family medicine described by the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA). Then we used a modified Delphi method with a selected panel of experts and two consensus rounds to prioritise objectives for family medicine teaching at the University of Lausanne. After choosing the top objectives/activities for family medicine, subgroups of experts then discussed what would be the best teaching methods for family medicine at the University of Lausanne.

RESULTS: The mapping of family medicine teaching at the University of Lausanne showed that current teaching addresses most of the primary topics of family medicine education. The modified Delphi method allowed us to identify priority themes for teaching family medicine at the University of Lausanne: (1) take a medical history and clinical examination; (2) doctor-patient relationship / patient-centred care; (3) clinical reasoning; (4) interprofessional collaboration; (5) care planning/ documentation; (6) shared decision-making; (7) communication; (8) cost-effective care; (9) health promotion; (10) assessment of urgency. The discussion with the experts identified the strengths and weaknesses of the various teaching modalities in family medicine education. Teaching should be structured, coherent and show continuity. Clinical immersion and small group teaching were the preferred teaching modalities.

CONCLUSION: This approach made it possible to create the guidelines for restructuring the family medicine teaching curriculum at the University of Lausanne.


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