Introduction: The clinical breast examination is part of the female comprehensive physical exam and a component that can be difficult to teach to first- and second-year medical students due to the intimate nature of the topic. We have prepared a breast examination self-learning module (SLM) which allows the student to interactively prepare for their clinical skills experiences at their own pace. Methods: The SLM covers the approach to the breast exam using a combination of videos with a clinician and a standardized patient, while also incorporating novel animations to demonstrate some of the more difficult components of the examination (e.g., the axillary exam viewed in a see-through manner). The SLM also contains numerous interactive quiz questions to reinforce specific learning points. The material presented covers materials appropriate for both first- and second-year students. Results: The SLM was used in the 2011-2012 school year at the author’s institution. An informal Likert scale survey was done to assess the student perception of the module. Of the 80 students who experienced the module, 48 submitted completed surveys. Of these, 85% reported feeling prepared for an upcoming standardized-patient experience on the clinical breast examination. Discussion: This resource was created to prepare preclinical medical students for the clinical breast examination. The efficacy of the module lies in the incorporation of video demonstration with animation to provide instruction where video is insufficient, specifically in the axillary examination. The incorporation of self-assessment enhances retention of material learned.
By the end of this session, learners will be able to:
- Learn the elements of taking a breast health-focused history.
- Recognize risk factors for breast cancer.
- Perform breast and lymph node examinations.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license.