Clinical teaching fellows: everyone's a winner.
Clin Teach. 2014 Apr;11(2):136-40
Authors: Woodfield G, O'Sullivan M
BACKGROUND: The principle teachers of the undergraduate medical curriculum are junior doctors and consultants, who may not necessarily be trained to teach. In addition, pressurised clinical environments may limit teaching time and decrease teaching quality. Clinical teaching fellows (CTFs) are doctors employed to teach, often undergoing a teaching qualification. This makes them well placed to bridge this gap between clinical practice and medical education.
QUESTION: How useful are CTFs as a teaching resource for medical students, from a student perspective?
METHODS: This is an evaluation of CTF teaching from student perspectives, with discussion relating to the role of CTFs. Questionnaires were given to 70 final-year medical students during the academic year 2011-2012. Questions related to teaching throughout medical school and involved scoring teaching numerically, with additional free-text sections for qualitative data.
RESULTS: A total of 38/70 (54%) students responded. All had received CTF teaching. All of the students said that CTFs were 'extremely useful' for teaching. There were many reasons given for this. Students also highlighted the managerial and pastoral benefits of CTFs.
DISCUSSION: We believe that CTFs could be a useful asset in all medical schools by delivering high-quality, reliable, standardised teaching for students, as an adjunct to consultant teaching, with additional managerial roles and trainee benefits. CTFs can benefit non-CTF trainees by facilitating and encouraging them to teach. CTFs can organise sessions and advise on curriculum topics, allowing trainees to deliver more targeted teaching. Teaching students may improve trainees' communication, management and leadership skills, which are useful for clinical practice.
PMID: 24629252 [PubMed - in process]