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Awards for Outstanding Teaching Methods

The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Freiburg has handed out teaching awards for five courses

Freiburg, Oct 04, 2017

Awards for Outstanding Teaching Methods

Foto: Sandra Meyndt

The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Freiburg gave out five awards distinguishing outstanding teaching in medicine. The five awards came with a prize of altogether €25,000. Two awards with €8,000 each went to Prof. Dr. Christian Offergeld, from the Department of Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, and Throat), and Dr. Jochen Brich and Dr. Moritz von Cranach from the Department of Neurology and Neurophysiology. The other teaching awards, each of which came with €3,000, were given to Prof. Dr. Christoph Schempp and Martin Faber from the Department of Dermatology; as well as Dr. Helene Pahlow, Dr. Matthias Goos, Prof. Dr. Stefan Fichtner-Feigl, and Prof. Dr. Oliver Thomusch from the Department of General and Visceral Surgery, Dr. Waltraut Silbernagel from the Department of Medical Psychology, and Dr. Andrea Kuhnert from the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy. Kuhnert also received an additional teaching award for a second teaching project.

Christian Offergeld: Teaching Professor HNO – Umsetzung eines kompetenz- und klinikorientierten Lehrplans in der HNO-Heilkunde

(ENT Teaching Professor: Implementing a Competency-Based and Clinical Teaching Plan in Otorhinolaryngology)

High quality teaching, modern teaching methods, acquiring competencies, and a primary studies coordinator – the so-called teaching professor (TP) – are the four pillars on which this course “Teaching Professor HNO” (ENT Teaching Professor) is based. The project, which has a practical and clinical component, is driven by students’ queries and demonstrates how profession, economic interests, and high-quality teaching can work together. Offergeld and his team place special emphasis on providing professional and academic advice to students through motivated instructors.

Jochen Brich, Moritz von Cranach: Lumbalpunktion mit praktischen Übungen am Phantom

(Lumbar Puncture with Practical Exercises on Phantom Patients)

Lumbar punctures (or spinal taps) are one of the most important tools in neurological diagnostics. In order to remove a sample of spinal fluid, a needle must be inserted into the lumbar vertebrae. All doctors are required to be able to carry out this procedure as a basic competency as stated in the National Competency-Based Learning Catalog for Medicine (Nationale Kompetenzbasierte Lernzielkatalog Medizin). The goal of this project is to teach students about the pros and cons of lumbar puncture and to impart practical skills needed for conducting this complex procedure. Focus is placed on empathy and communication with the patient during the procedure.

Christoph Schempp, Martin Faber: Moulagen-Projekt

(Moulage Project)

Moulages are three-dimensional, lifelike wax casts of skin diseases. Once an indispensable tool in dermatology studies, they were replaced by color photography in the mid-twentieth century. In 2007, moulages were reintroduced in the classroom at the Department of Dermatology at the Freiburg University Medical Center. Similar to a clinical visit, students can work with moulages to identify the typical symptoms of a disease and thus study specific cases, and unlike bedside instruction, moulages can be used as educational tools anytime. They also allow skin changes in the genital area to be studied without invading the patient’s privacy. The €3,000 awarded to the group will go toward integrating moulages into small-group instruction by senior doctors and e-learning.

Helene Pahlow, Matthias Goos, Stefan Fichtner-Feigl, Oliver Thomusch, Waltraut Silbernagel und Andrea Kuhnert: Kommunikative Kompetenzen in der Chirurgie

(Communication Competencies in Surgery)

Medical students do not come into contact with patients until their seventh semester, when they begin to put what they have learned about how to talk to and interview patients into practice. In this pilot project offered by the Surgery Department, students conduct one of their first bedside talks with a hospital patient. They are monitored by trained tutors who provide them with feedback after the talk. Some points include: How did the student conduct themselves? Did they discuss problems and address the patient’s feelings? Was the patient guided through the talk in an appropriate way? The instructors also believe that good communication makes teamwork among colleagues more efficient. That is why, in the second half of this pilot project, students learn how to correctly present patients to colleagues for patient transfers. They discuss such issues as: What information needs to be passed on and how? What are the next steps in the treatment strategy? Especially in surgery, where there is often very little time for discussion, it has been proven that effective communication does not need to be long and can actually even save time.

Andrea Kuhnert: High Risk – Cool Run: Untersuchung zur Wirksamkeit einer präventiven Kurzintervention zum Umgang mit Belastungen in (simulierten) Notfallsituationen

(High Risk, Cool Run: Investigating the Effectiveness of Preventive Short-Term Interventions for Treating Stress in (Simulated) Emergency Situations)

In a medical emergency, doctors need to make fast and focused decisions and act quickly in highly complex and emotionally draining crisis situations. This can cause them to feel helpless and overwhelmed, which can make it difficult for them to conduct themselves professionally, especially if they have little practical experience. Although this is a well-known problem, few steps are being taken to address this in medical training. For this reason, this three-hour workshop was designed as a short-term intervention to raise doctors’ awareness of the stress involved in emergency medicine and to plan evaluations of this intervention. Workshop participants not only discuss the interaction between doctor and patient and learn how to deal with negative emotions in a mindful way, they also practice their new skills on simulated patients.



Prof. Dr. Christian Offergeld
Department of Otorhinolaryngology
Freiburg University Medical Center
Phone: +49 (0)761/270-42570

Dr. Jochen Brich
Department of Neurology and Neurophysiology
Freiburg University Medical Center
Phone: +49 (0)761/270-53070

Prof. Dr. Christoph Schempp
Department of Dermatology
Freiburg University Medical Center
Phone: +49 (0)761/270-67760

Dr. Helene Pahlow
Department of General and Visceral Surgery
Freiburg University Medical Center
Phone: +49 (0)761/270-25530

Dr. Andrea Kuhnert
Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy
Freiburg University Medical Center
Phone: +49 (0)761/270-68816