August 2013

Series Designed to Combat ‘Neurophobia’ Registers 75,000 Views

Thu, 29 August 13 08:46

A series of open-source e-learning videos, produced by Prof Niall Tubridy, Associate Clinical Professor at UCD and Consultant Neurologist at St Vincent’s University Hospital, in association with UCD Medical School and Clinics in Motion, has generated more than 75,000 views on the School’s YouTube channel since its introduction 6 months ago. The videos were produced with the cooperation of the neurology team at Vincent’s including neurologists, specialist nurses, physiotherapists and speech therapists.

The videos were conceived in an effort to tackle what Prof Tubridy describes as ‘neurophobia’ amongst medical students and young doctors.

Neurology is a complex subject and one that medical students, and indeed new doctors, find extremely challenging. The goal for us as educators is to find new, innovative ways to encourage understanding and engagement with the subject matter. I’m particularly interested in technology as a method through which we can remove the fear around learning neurology, while also promoting improved educational outcomes,” said Prof Tubridy.

Prof Tubridy and colleagues in the Department of Neurology at St. Vincent’s University Hospital have introduced a number of educational initiatives at UCD to help fourth and fifth year clinical students engage more effectively with the neurology curriculum.

For the last number of years  the Department of Neurology has held biannual, neurology-specific teaching weeks for clinical students. These mini-modules are offered in addition to the standard curriculum and provide students with an intense and fully immersive learning experience. These videos will now serve as a learning aid to these teaching weeks and will allow students to engage with the various topics in their own time or as a way to understand more completely the issues that emerge during the course of standard teaching,” said Prof Tubridy.

The series is free-to-use (creative commons, attribution), and has had a significant impact beyond the confines of the UCD campus. Students from more than 160 countries have viewed, shared and embedded videos from the series, which includes topics such as:

The most watched video from the series is entitled ‘Parkinson’s Disease – examining the patient’, which has clocked up just under 20,000 views.

Feedback from students has been very positive and Prof Tubridy is encouraging those who find the videos useful to leave comments as to how they helped and how such a series might be developed in the future. Feedback included the following comments:

  • This is a fantastic video. I'm taking my undergraduate finals tomorrow and this has helped for some last minute revision!
  • Your video series is excellent. Thank you!
  • Thank you for your amazing neurology history and examination videos - I am an M3 in the United States and your lectures are nothing but strings of pearls. Thank you UCD for putting these lectures online and to all the patients in your clinics who made these videos possible. Thank you again!
  • There seem to be a number of different causes of Nystagmus. This doctor directly addresses where in the brain this patient's Nystagmus originates. Excellent video.
  • A fantastic set of teaching aids. Thank you!         

Post-production of the series was managed by Mr Adam Tattersall, Educational Technologist at UCD School of Medicine and medical Science.

The full series is available to view here.