The Flipped Check-Up

17 Apr


When we moved to Irving and I decided to join a practice in Lewisville, I realized I wanted to know more about the schools in the area and get a feel for the culture of the teachers that would be teaching my patients and kids.  I searched online and found great and encouraging information about Carrollton-Farmers Branch, Irving and Lewisville school districts.  I also looked up several teachers and administrators.

While I expected to get good information, I never expected to learn a concept that I hope to incorporate into my medical practice, but that is exactly what happened.  I followed an educator on Twitter (@LaurenBibby) who is the Technology Integration Specialist for Lewisville ISD (@LewisvilleISD) and she has since “introduced” me to a concept known as the flipped classroom (even though she doesn’t know it yet).

Wikipedia describes flipped learning as “a form of blended learning in which students learn new content online by watching video lectures, usually at home, and what used to be homework (assigned problems) is now done in class with teachers offering more personalized guidance and interaction with students, instead of lecturing.”

So, students watch lectures at home in the afternoon then come to school the next day to do homework and other projects during class time.  This gives the teacher time and opportunity to address what the student doesn’t understand from the lectures rather than have students turn to their parents for their Calculus homework (when dad had trouble passing Algebra).

So, how does this apply to me and my practice?

I’d like to have more patients to do “flipped check-ups.”

In the flipped classroom, student listen to lectures at home and come prepared to do work and application related to the material.  In a flipped check-up, parents would read and learn about the upcoming checkup (check out this page on my blog: Check-Ups for an example), develop specific questions and then allow me to get into deeper, higher-level education when they come in for their check-up.

Yes, contrary to the stereotype, you did just hear a doctor advocate that his patients do on-line research prior to their visit (but I want it to be good information).  In fact, it’s the reason I started my blog in the first place.  I wanted my patients to be able to access my advice (in effect, access me) when I wasn’t there beside them to answer their questions.  I wanted them to have a place to go that had accurate recommendations that fit with my philosophy (so, why not have them actually be my recommendations, right?).

Here’s an example of how it could go:

Family has 4 months check-up scheduled.

They review the 4 Month Check-Up Blog Post.

Family comes in for a 4 month check-up.

They say, “We read your blog 4 month check-up blog post and are ready to start solids and he seems to be developmentally ok but we did have some more questions about helping him sleep through the night.”

This allows me to touch on the other areas for clarity and completeness but spend the majority of the rest of the visit discussing in depth about sleeping and some options for sleep training (or not, depending on the family’s preference).

When the child is older we could cover the topics located in my Masters in Parenting Series to cover some topics of development more deeply.

So, this leads me to some questions for you…

1)     Is this something you’d be interested in?

2)     If you wanted to do it, how could I make it easier for you?


5 Responses to “The Flipped Check-Up”

  1. Allison Hammond April 17, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

    This post, more than any other, makes me so tempted to make the drive to Lewisville so you could be our pediatrician! I love who we use now but this concept is so wonderful that I’m almost willing to switch… Let me know when you move further east! 🙂

  2. Ashley Keesee April 17, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

    This is a great idea! I’m THAT mom that always thinks of all kinds of questions & then DONT write them down. So, by the time our appointment comes around; I’ve forgotten all the questions I was going to ask! 😩 By having a “guideline” to look at beforehand; it could possible help answer some of those questions AND help parents like me remember what questions to ask that maybe aren’t explained in detail. Not to mention; it gives parents a chance to see where their child should kinda be developmentally without having to call the office and bombard you with 50 questions. I think you’re definitely on to something here! 😊

    • Sarah E Curtis April 17, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

      I just did a paper about “flipping classrooms” for my Master’s program. I was so intrigued and impressed. It truly puts learning into the student’s hands. I would love to share any articles that I researched or my paper with you!!! See you next week.

  3. Kelly Mann April 17, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

    I think it’s a great idea, especially for parents who may not have “seasoned” friends/family members they can go to for advice on things like sleep training/solids/etc. Having the blog accessible (and knowing it’s not some yahoo forum with everyone’s opinions on all ailments), helps any parent, because at midnight, when the child wakes up with God knows what, the first thing you do is grab that handy iPhone and Google away. Guess where you land?
    In a sense, I’d like to think that this approach to well checks is something that I already do, because I’m a self-proclaimed mom-nerd that asks the advice of those around me, compares that to recommended books/websites and knows what’s coming next. Obviously, the first time around, I didn’t/don’t know everything about check ups but in terms of “the big stuff,” we were/are always able to just graze over it and move to any questions or things that I wouldn’t know.
    Finding a way to implement it in your entire practice would be fantastic and I think any parent would be grateful to have the knowledge of some of the unknowns as readily available.

  4. Megan Boyd April 17, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

    Freaking love this idea!!! Go for it!

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