Peer Observations: Enhancing Bedside Clinical Teaching Behaviors.

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Peer Observations: Enhancing Bedside Clinical Teaching Behaviors.

Cureus. 2020 Feb 22;12(2):e7076

Authors: Pedram K, Brooks MN, Marcelo C, Kurbanova N, Paletta-Hobbs L, Garber AM, Wong A, Qayyum R

Background Medical training relies on direct observations and formative feedback. After residency graduation, opportunities to receive feedback on clinical teaching diminish. Although feedback through learner evaluations is common, these evaluations can be untimely, non-specific, and potentially biased. On the other hand, peer feedback in a small group setting or lecture format has been shown to be beneficial to teaching behaviors, however, little is known if peer observation using a standardized tool followed by feedback results in improved teaching behaviors. Therefore, the objective of this study was to examine if feedback after peer observation results in improved inpatient teaching behaviors. Methods This study was conducted at a tertiary care hospital. Academic hospitalists in the Division of Hospital Medicine developed a standardized 28-item peer observation tool based on the Stanford Faculty Development Program to observe their peers during bedside teaching rounds and provide timely feedback after observation. The tool focused on five teaching domains (learning climate, control of session, promotion of understanding and retention, evaluation, and feedback) relevant to the inpatient teaching environment. Teaching hospitalists were observed at the beginning of a two-week teaching rotation, given feedback, and then observed at the end of the rotation. Furthermore, we utilized a post-observation survey to assess the teaching and observing hospitalists' comfort with observation and the usefulness of the feedback. We used mixed linear models with crossed design to account for correlations between the observations. Models were adjusted for gender, age, and years of experience. We tested the internal validity of the instrument with Cronbach's alpha. Results Seventy (range: one to four observations per faculty) observations were performed involving 27 teaching attendings. A high proportion of teachers were comfortable with the observation (79%) and found the feedback helpful (92%), and useful for their own teaching (88%). Mean scores in teaching behavior domains ranged from 2.1 to 2.7. In unadjusted and adjusted analysis, each teaching observation was followed by higher scores in learning climate (adjusted improvement = 0.09; 95% CI = 0.02-0.15; p = 0.007) and promotion of understanding and retention (adjusted improvement = 0.09; 95% CI = 0.02-0.17; p = 0.01). The standardized observation tool had Cronbach's alpha of 0.81 showing high internal validity. Conclusions Peer observation of bedside teaching followed by feedback using a standardized tool is feasible and results in measured improvements in desirable teaching behaviors. The success of this approach resulted in the expansion of peer observation to other Divisions within the Department of Internal Medicine at our Institution.

PMID: 32226677 [PubMed]

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