gms | German Medical Science

Research in Medical Education – Chances and Challenges International Conference

20.05. - 22.05.2009, Heidelberg

Doc-Lab Tübingen – a longitudinal skills lab curriculum

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Anne Werner - Universitätsklinikum Tübingen, Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik, Abteilung Innere Medizin VI, Abteilung Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychotherapie, Tübingen, Germany
  • author presenting/speaker Bertram Schädle - Universitätsklinikum Tübingen, Abteilung für Anaesthesiologie und Intensivmedizin, Tübinger Patienten-Sicherheits- und Simulations-Zentrum TüPASS, Tübingen, Germany
  • author presenting/speaker Malte Bongers - Universitätsklinikum Tübingen, Medizinische Fakultät, Tübingen, Germany
  • author Richard Schäfer - Universitätsklinikum Tübingen, Institut für Klinische und Experimentelle Transfusionsmedizin IKET, Tübingen, Germany
  • author Stephan Zipfel - Universitätsklinikum Tübingen, Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik, Abteilung Innere Medizin VI, Abteilung Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychotherapie, Tübingen, Germany
  • author Burkhard Schauf - Universitätsklinikum Tübingen, Klinik für Gynäkologie und Geburtshilfe, Tübingen, Germany
  • author presenting/speaker Peter Weyrich - Universitätsklinikum Tübingen, Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik, Abteilung Innere Medizin IV, Abteilung Endokrinologie und Diabetologie, Angiologie, Nephrologie und Klinische Chemie, Tübingen, Germany

Research in Medical Education - Chances and Challenges 2009. Heidelberg, 20.-22.05.2009. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2009. Doc09rmeE3

doi: 10.3205/09rme23, urn:nbn:de:0183-09rme233

Published: May 5, 2009

© 2009 Werner et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Context: Practical abilities are essential to keep up with good clinical standards. Skills labs provide a defined and protected learning environment for continuous training of both clinical technical and communication skills.

Question: What does Tübingen’s Medical Faculty do to train its students in hands-on abilities?

Methods: A special questionnaire was created to assess the current skills lab activities of each department in order to establish a defined curriculum (Doc-Lab Tübingen). The items included ongoing teaching programs as well as planned future projects. It was assessed whether student or faculty staff instructors were responsible for teaching current training sessions and whether there was a wish to integrate more student instructors in future. Additionally, skills were assessed according to the following categories: basic (obligatory, to be learned until end of the 3rd year), advanced (obligatory, learned within the 4th and 5th year) and elective (on a voluntary basis, chosen to deepen knowledge or orientation).

Results: A total of 188 distinct skills were named in the questionnaires obtained from 14 distinct departments, comprising 14 main categories (e.g. communication, endoscopy, injection procedures, crisis resource management, etc.). Of these skills, 76% are already taught in the current curriculum. We assigned 50% of the skills to the basic curriculum, and 25% each for the advanced and elective curriculum, respectively. Established institutions like the Tübinger Experimental-OP ( or the Tübinger Patientensicherheits- und Simulationszentrum TüPass (a simulation centre for intensive care and emergency medicine; were also integrated into the Doc-Lab concept.

50% of teaching sessions are planned to be instructed by student peers. They are trained in methodology by the Baden-Württemberg competence centre for medical didactics and receive additional training from each clinical department to acquire the relevant medical techniques.

Continuous training for central skills will be provided at the end of the Doc-Lab curriculum within simulated ward rounds or an outpatient healthcare setting to practice the main situations doctors are faced with.

Conclusions: The Faculty of Tübingen provides a broad spectrum of different skills labs. The new Doc-Lab curriculum will provide a central didactic, administrative and financial platform to optimize the curricular skills training and to offer targeted sessions to deepen the practical capabilities of our students. Different skills categories form a classical learning pyramid and the integrated Doc-Lab scenarios provided directly before the final year of medical education will facilitate the integration of final year students into the clinical ward routine and later professional life. Doc-Lab students will be able to join a currently designed web-based script and video centre that will ensure proper standardization within the Doc-Lab syllabus.