Motivating Residents to Teach
All family medicine residents eventually teach medical students in a clinic or hospital setting. Teaching may automatically appeal to some residents while others may need some convincing or encouragement.
Reminding a resident of the rewards of teaching can lessen his or her reservations. Remind residents that teaching:
- Significantly impacts a student’s education and future career choice.1 “Resident–teachers contribute to medical students’ learning in ways that complement the contributions made by attending faculty, as they are closer to the student experience and remember more clearly what it was like, and what worked for them.”3
- Increases job satisfaction and lessens the likelihood of professional burnout over time. This is attributed to variety, intellectual stimulation, and contact with young and, often, enthusiastic, learners.2
- Is required by the ACGME.2
- Many patients admire and appreciate resident teachers.2
Help Residents Become Good Teachers by Encouraging Them to:2
- Teach through role modeling. Students learn from residents regardless of whether there is an explicit attempt to teach.
- Prepare appropriate teaching points. Before entering a patient room the resident can take a moment to consider high-yield teaching points appropriate to the level of the student.
- Teach during downtime. Even on busy days, it's possible to find moments of downtime to teach practical clinical skills or impart clinical pearls.
- Think aloud. Thinking aloud before, during, and after patient visits provides a glimpse into a resident’s mental processing and allows a student to begin to understand why certain diagnoses are entertained or treatment decisions are made.
- Teach through patient education. While explaining a diagnosis or treatment to a patient, a resident can speak in a way that also teaches a student who is observing or participating in the visit.
- Tobia A, Bhatt S, Grigo H, Katsamanis M. Teaching Housestaff to Enhance Student Education with the Use of Fantasy Sports. Acad Psychiatry. 2013 Jan 1;37(1):60-2. doi: 10.1176/appi.ap.11100182.
- Power D, Brocato J, Solberg E. Residents Teaching Students. University of Minnesota, Department of Family Medicine & Community Health
- Dandavino M1, Snell L, Wiseman J. Why Medical Students Should Learn How to Teach.Med Teach. 2007 Sep;29(6):558-65.
- Rencie J. Resident as Teacher: Tips to Improve Teaching During New Patient Admissions. Semin Med Pract. 2009 Vol 12.
- Peer-teaching: an important skill for all medical students and doctors?
Article in Perspectives on Medical Education
- When Learners Become Teachers
Article in Family Medicine
- Resident as Teacher: Tips to Improve Teaching During New Patient Admissions
Article in Seminars in Medical Practice(PDF)