0 0 Dr Michelle McEvoy, Prof Ciaran O'Boyle, RCSI Institute of Leadership.

Dr Michelle McEvoy receives MD degree for research on the use of virtual learning in training doctors to detect child abuse.

Dr Michelle McEvoy was recently conferred with her MD degree at the RCSI for her research which was undertaken at the RCSI Institute of Leadership. Dr McEvoy, who is now a consultant paediatrician at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London, conducted pioneering work to develop and determine the potential effectiveness of virtual patients in improving clinical knowledge, professional identity and reflective skills in the detection of child abuse in medical students studying paediatrics. Her findings indicated that the current curriculum did not provide adequate exposure to essential infrequent cases in clinical practice. She found virtual patients to be an acceptable learning tool, and a measure developed for evaluating their impact was found to be practical, reliable and valid. Compared to the traditional curriculum alone, the inclusion of virtual patients significantly improved short-term learning and long-term knowledge retention. Providing students with written feedback during the module improved their learning about professional norms and their ability to apply such norms to clinical scenarios.

Speaking after the conferring, Professor O’Boyle said: “Dr. McEvoy’s research is important because of the ongoing challenge of detecting child abuse in clinical practice. This research, and the work of the Institute’s Cyberpsychology Research Centre (http://cypsy.com), aims to apply educational and scientific methods to improving child protection.”


Michelle McEvoy

Dr Michelle McEvoy at the RCSI postgraduate conferring ceremony with her research supervisor Professor Ciaran O’Boyle, Director of the Institute of Leadership.