Teacher-training for hospital residents improves medical students' education, UCI study shows

August 17, 2004

Irvine, Calif., Aug. 17, 2003 - Resident physicians make better instructors for medical students and interns when they receive formal teaching training, a UCI College of Medicine study has found.

The study is among the first to quantify how specialized training for resident physicians improves their teaching and mentoring skills. Traditionally, medical students and interns at a hospital receive significant mentoring and supervision from resident physicians, who are themselves still undergoing medical training. Study results appear in the Aug. 17 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

"This study objectively evaluated the impact of teaching instruction on improving residents' performance as mentors and instructors," said Dr. Elizabeth H. Morrison, associate professor and director of predoctoral education in UCI's Department of Family Medicine. "Improving the teaching skills of residents is critical. Residents teach their trainees how to diagnose and treat patients. They model communication skills and many other professional attributes, so they have a huge impact on America's future doctors."

For the study, the researchers recruited 62 second-year residents from UCI Medical Center. Of these residents, 33 were randomly assigned to complete a "residents-as-teachers" program. Over six months, these residents completed 13 hours of special practice and training designed to improve their teaching and communication skills with students.

Before and after the training, all of the residents were given a teaching examination to evaluate their performance. When rated on teaching effectiveness, residents who received the training scored 28.5 percent higher than residents who did not receive the training, a statistically significant difference.

The twice-monthly, small-group sessions were designed to incorporate the best published evidence on teaching skills development for faculty and residents. The sessions stressed "hands-on" practice, with individualized, structured feedback by peers and faculty. After a brief didactic presentation, residents took turns teaching their peers using a structured teaching case designed for each specific module such as giving feedback, lecturing, leading discussions, bedside teaching, inpatient teaching, instruction in medical charting, and teaching a clinical procedure.

Other medical schools offer teaching aid for residents, but Morrison's study is distinctive for describing detailed instructional methods that other medical schools can easily adopt, and for measuring improvement in teaching skills with a validated and reliable examination. A national survey in 2000 by Morrison and colleagues showed that approximately 50 percent of residency programs offered some type of formal teaching skills training to residents; however, one-time lecture and workshop formats predominated, and less than 5 percent used objective methods like Morrison's to measure efficacy of the training interventions with residents.

"Residencies as we know them now are constantly evolving, with the current major trend mandating the setting of clearer learning expectations for resident competency and providing objective evidence of their accomplishment," said Dr. John R. Boker, director of research in medical education in the UCI College of Medicine and study co-author. "Teaching ability is one such competency that is attaining more prominence as a requirement for residency program accreditation, and Dr. Morrison's intervention provides a model for addressing this requirement."
Drs. Lloyd Rucker, Charles Gabbert, Allan Hubbell and Michael Prislin of UCI, and Dr. Maurice Hitchcock of USC, participated in the study, which was funded by grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the federal Health Resources and Services Administration.

About the University of California, Irvine: The University of California, Irvine is a top-ranked public university dedicated to research, scholarship and community. Founded in 1965, UCI is among the fastest-growing University of California campuses, with approximately 24,000 undergraduate and graduate students and about 1,300 faculty members. The third-largest employer in dynamic Orange County, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3 billion.

UCI maintains an online directory of faculty available as experts to the media. To access, visit: www.today.uci.edu/experts.

University of California - Irvine

Related Medical Education Articles from Brightsurf:

How can education researchers support education and public health and institutions during COVID-19?
As education researchers' ongoing work is interrupted by school closures, what can they do to support education and public health institutions dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic?

Online education platforms could scale high-quality STEM education for universities
Online and blended (online and in-person) STEM instruction can produce the same learning outcomes for students as traditional, in-person classes at a fraction of the cost, finds research published today in Science Advances.

Teaming basic scientists with clinicians may improve medical education retention
There is a trend in modern medical school curriculum design to integrate the basic sciences and clinical sciences.

Medicare overpayments for graduate medical education could total $1.28 billion annually
If Medicare capped funds for Graduate Medical Education (GME) at the rate of $150,000 per resident, the move would free up more than $1 billion a year, according to a study published today in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Gamification can give dental and medical education a boost
Introducing gamification to medical and dental education can boost student motivation and lead to better learning outcomes, a new study from the University of Eastern Finland shows.

Flipped classroom enhances learning outcomes in medical certificate education
The quality of medical certificates written by students of medicine was better when they were taught by using the flipped classroom approach instead of traditional lecturing.

Most surgical residents want personal financial education offered during medical training
Close to 80 percent of resident respondents to one online survey said they think personal financial education is needed during residency, according to study findings in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Centralized infrastructure facilitates medical education research
The Council of Academic Family Medicine Educational Research Alliance has enabled a large number of research teams to conduct meaningful scholarship with a fraction of the usual time and energy.

Individual education programs not being used as intended in special education
Gone are the days when students with disabilities were placed in a separate classroom, or even in a completely different part of the school.

Springer Healthcare launches Medicine Matters, a new medical education website
Springer Healthcare launches Medicine Matters, a new medical education website.

Read More: Medical Education News and Medical Education Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.