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A Review and Nested Case Study of Special Study Modules in Undergraduate Medical Education at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica



Objective: To evaluate the special study modules (SSMs) that were developed with the aim that students should have learnt new skills, adopt new attitudes and acquire knowledge in areas outside the mainstream of medical education that enrich and enhance their professional development.

Methods: A review of records in the office of curriculum affairs was undertaken to identify and categorize all topics administered as SSMs to medical students since the last revision of the curriculum. Additionally, a nested case study was done on one of the modules on “taking a spiritual history”.

Results: The SSMs were divided into three broad subject panels. Each SSM regardless of its subject panel had expressed goals, a set of objectives and a defined development structure. The nested case study revealed that forty students took part in the SSM on spiritual health. Overall, students reported positive feedback on the experience and there has been a growing demand for this SSM.

Conclusion: From all indications, this programme ensures development of lifelong skills, transferable or generic, associated with opportunities to explore topics outside the core of the undergraduate medical curriculum.

15 Jun, 2018
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e-Published: 27 Feb, 2019


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