Teaching Trauma-Informed Care: A Symposium for Medical Students

Date of Review: February, 2024

This curricula, from MedEd Portal, is a four hour symposium geared towards medical students to teach about trauma informed care. It utilizes pre-work with videos from YouTube and TEDTalks, that explain the adverse childhood experiences study (ACEs) as a primer for the course. It combines lectures with interactive components such as pole everywhere audience response and interactive case-based discussion. In addition, the curriculum includes a reflection component to help learners solidify their knowledge and brainstorm a plan for how they will incorporate that knowledge in practice. The curriculum focuses on trauma-informed care in the pediatric population, and has components of understanding a trauma informed physical exam and resources for child resiliency. Although this curriculum is geared towards a pediatric population, it takes an “all comers” approach to trauma informed care, and does not focus on a specific patient with a specific need. Included in this packet are a post evaluation survey as well as lecture materials and facilitator guides. This this curriculum does require some level of expertise of facilitators in understanding and discussing trauma informed care. Although the curriculum does come with facilitator guides, the authors discuss that additional coaching and training was provided to their facilitators prior to the small group symposium. However, they do note that small group sessions can be easily formatted for a large group session if experienced facilitators are in short supply. The feedback from students who took this initial course requested additional opportunities for practice and experience with either real patient or standardized patients. Overall this is an excellent resource for those looking to prepare medical professionals for utilizing trauma informed care in their patient care and practice. –Ashley Smith-Nunez, MD, NCEAS

Corresponding Author’s Email:



George Washington University School of Medicine

Where was the Curriculum Implemented:

Washington DC

Relevant clinical specialty:


Outcomes that Have Been Reported for the Curriculum:

Learner Satisfaction or reaction

Self-reported learner knowledge

Outcome and Study Design:

Post only

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