Background: Physicians should be equipped with professional competence in health literacy to communicate more effectively with patients with limited health literacy. However, the health literacy curriculum has not yet been refined globally, and is scarce in Taiwan’s medical education. We implemented an innovative instructional module to attain professional competence in health literacy among medical students and investigated its effects. Methods: We adopted a quasi-experimental design and recruited 204 fifth-year Taiwanese medical students between December 2019 and May 2020. Participants who worked as clerks at the Department of Family Medicine of three medical schools in northern Taiwan were assigned to the experimental group through convenience sampling. A total of 98 students received a three-hour innovative instruction, including medical simulation videos, role-playing, and board games. Both the experimental and control groups completed the online pre-test and mail-in post-test. A generalized estimating equation was applied to measure the effects of the intervention. Results: There was a significant difference between the experimental and control groups in terms of professional competence in health literacy in all three aspects. In terms of knowledge, the experimental group improved 12% more than the control group (β=0.12, 95% CI: 0.05 ~ 0.19, p = 0.001). In terms of attitude, the experimental group improved by an average of 0.27 more points per question than the control group (β=0.27, 95% CI: 0.08 ~ 0.46, p = 0.007). As for skill, the experimental group improved by an average of 0.35 more points per question than the control group (β=0.35, 95% CI: 0.14 ~ 0.55, p = 0.001). Conclusion: The proposed innovative instructional module significantly improved fifth-year medical students’ professional competence in health literacy, which is expected to benefit their future medical practices.
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