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JKM > Volume 43(1); 2022 > Article
Cho, Jeon, Kwon, Hong, Lee, Jung, Park, Seo, Lim, and Cho: Training future Korean medicine doctors to perform bee venom acupuncture and obtain informed consent using an objective structured clinical examination



This study describes the implementation of a training course that aimed to increase the competency of undergraduate students of Korean medicine at a single college to obtain informed consent and perform bee venom acupuncture using an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE).


We developed and implemented a short training course for 111 fourth-year students of Korean medicine during their clinical rotation at the Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Medicine. Lectures were conducted on the effects of and hypersensitivity reactions to bee venom acupuncture, obtaining informed consent, performing skin test and bee venom acupuncture. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some students were offered online lectures, and some could not experience the performance of OSCE in person. A survey with 16 closed and three open questions was used to investigate self-efficacy, opinions about the online lectures, and the OSCE.


Out of 111 questionnaires, 104 were completed (94%). Students were generally satisfied with the online lectures and OSCE. For the subjective questionnaire about what was helpful in the training of bee venom acupuncture techniques and OSCE, the authenticity of the teaching method was recorded the highest.


This study showed that online lectures were effective in teaching clinical skills of Korean Medicine. It is necessary to produce standard educational materials for clinical skills of Korean Medicine, and studies to analyze the reliability and validity of OSCE are needed.

Fig. 1
Overall process of the training and objective structured clinical examination.
Fig. 2
Analysis of the open-ended questions asked regarding the bee venom acupuncture training and OSCE. The training contents and methods were largely regarded as helpful. The training contents included information on obtaining informed consent, performing a skin test, the bee venom acupuncture procedure, and possible issues. The training methods included authenticity, online lectures, practice sessions, materials, OSCE, and feedback.
Table 1
Objective Structured Clinical Examination Checklist for Obtaining Informed Consent and Training Bee Venom Acupuncture
Question Number Detailed Checklist Points
Obtaining informed consent
1 Was the patient information (name, patient number) checked and written in the consent form with a diagnosis? 2
2 Was the purpose and necessity of bee venom acupuncture treatment, the expected benefits and effects, and the time required for the procedure explained? 2
3 Were the past and present medical history taken to evaluate the possibility of hypersensitivity reactions and side effects? Were precautions given? 2
4 Were possible symptoms and countermeasures after bee venom acupuncture treatment explained? 2
5 Was the name of the doctor giving the consent written down with a signature? 2
6 Was the patient’s full consent and signature obtained? 2
7 Were sufficient understanding and additional questions checked? 2
Performing skin test and bee venom acupuncture
8 Was the bee venom solution injected into the syringe well? 2
9 Was the needle changed after the bee venom solution was injected into the syringe? 2
10 Was the guide to appropriate and safe position conducted? 2
11 Were wounds in the skin test area and treatment area checked? 2
12 Was proper hand hygiene done before the skin test? 2
13 Was the skin test site well disinfected before and after the injection? 2
14 Was the skin test done with an amount less than 0.1ml intradermally 2
15 Was the presence of an adverse reaction confirmed and written after 15 minutes of the skin test? 2
16 Was the procedure conducted in an appropriate and safe position? 2
17 Was proper hand hygiene done before performing the bee venom acupuncture? 2
18 Was the treatment area well disinfected before and after the bee venom was injected? 2
19 Was the bee venom acupuncture performed well? 2
20 Were the general medical and perishable wastes used in the procedure properly disposed of? 2
21 After the procedure, was the patient induced to wait for 15 minutes and then the treatment was terminated? 2
22 Was consideration for the patient taken during the procedure? 2
Table 2
Title and Learning Objectives of the Online Lecture
Number Title of the lecture Learning objectives
1 Efficacy and hypersensitivity reactions of bee venom acupuncture Understand and explain the components and pharmacological action of bee venom
Understand hypersensitivity reactions to bee venom acupuncture and how to deal with the reactions
2 Obtaining informed consent for bee venom acupuncture Understand and be able to explain the process of bee venom acupuncture and obtain informed consent from the patient
3 Skin test Understand the purpose of the skin test and can perform it
4 Performing bee venom acupuncture Perform bee venom acupuncture in a hygienic and appropriate manner
Table 3
Students' Opinions on Bee Venom Acupuncture and OSCE
Survey questions Strongly disagree (score 1) Disagree (score 2) Agree (score 3) Strongly agree (score 4) Total Mean±SD
I am willing to use bee venom acupuncture in the clinical field. 1 (1.0%) 8 (8.3%) 53 (54.6%) 35 (36.1%) 97 3.26±0.65
The test time (10 minutes) was sufficient. 2 (2.1%) 19 (19.6%) 43 (44.3%) 33 (34.0%) 97 3.10±0.78
The models used in training and evaluation were adequate. 2 (2.1%) 5 (5.2%) 56 (57.7%) 34 (35.1%) 97 3.26±0.65
The clinic is an appropriate venue to implement OSCE. 1 (1.0%) 8 (8.3%) 47 (48.5%) 41 (42.3%) 97 3.32±0.67
OSCE helped me develop my clinical skills. 1 (1.0%) 3 (3.1%) 46 (47.4%) 47 (48.5%) 97 3.43±0.61
Table 4
Students' Opinions on Online Lectures
Survey questions Strongly disagree (score 1) Disagree (score 2) Neutral (score 3) Agree (score 4) Strongly agree (score 5) Total Mean±SD
Was the average class time for online prior learning appropriate? 0 (0.0%) 1 (1.2%) 12 (14.1%) 42 (49.4%) 30 (35.3%) 85 4.19±0.72
Are learning videos attractive to promote learning? 0 (0.0%) 2 (2.4%) 15 (17.7%) 36 (42.4%) 32 (37.7%) 85 4.15±0.79
Were the learning videos used for review? 3 (3.6%) 12 (14.3%) 13 (15.5%) 32 (38.1%) 24 (28.6%) 84 3.74±1.13
Does prior online learning increase your understanding of classes? 0 (0.0%) 1 (1.2%) 7 (8.2%) 38 (44.7%) 39 (45.9%) 85 4.35±0.68
Were you able to study freely at your desired time and place? 1 (1.2%) 0 (0.0%) 2 (2.4%) 35 (41.2%) 47 (55.3%) 85 4.49±0.67


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