Medical Student Learning From Residents in the Workplace
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Purpose: To explore what third year medical students learn from residents and which teaching strategies are used by residents in their interactions with students in the clinical workplace environment. Method: In this multi-institutional qualitative study between January and March 2012, the authors conducted focus groups with medical students who were mid-way through their third year. Qualitative analysis was used to identify themes. Results: Thirty-seven students participated. Students contributed 228 comments related to teaching methods used by residents. The authors categorized these into 20 themes within 7 domains including Role-Modeling, Focusing on Teaching, Creating a Safe Learning Environment, Providing Experiential Learning Opportunities, Giving Feedback, Setting Expectations and Stimulating Learning. Role-Modeling, the most frequently classified method of teaching in this study, was not included in the three most popular “Resident-as Teacher” (RAT) models. Strategies such as offering opportunities for safe practice, involving students in the team and providing experiential learning opportunities were not emphasized in these models. 197 student comments representing the knowledge and skills students learned from residents were categorized into 33 themes within 9 domains including Patient Care, Communication, Navigating the System, Adaptability, Functioning as a Student/Resident, Life-Long Learning, General Comments, Career/Professional Development and Medical Content. Most areas are not emphasized in popular RAT models. Conclusions: Residents serve as critical teachers of students in the clinical workplace. Current RAT models are based largely on the teaching behaviors of faculty. The content and teaching strategies identified by students in this study should serve as the foundation for future RAT program development.
residents as teachers