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Perceptions of medical school graduates and students regarding their academic preparation to teach
  1. B W Henry1,
  2. J G Haworth2,
  3. P Hering3
  1. 1School of Family, Consumer, and Nutrition Sciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, USA
  2. 2Loyola University Chicago, USA
  3. 3Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor B W Henry
 School of Family, Consumer, and Nutrition Sciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, USA; bwhenry{at}


Purpose: How medical students learn and develop the characteristics associated with good teaching in medicine is not well known. Information about this process can improve the academic preparation of medical students for teaching responsibilities. The purpose of this study was to determine how different experiences contributed to the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of medical school graduates and students regarding medical teaching.

Methods: A questionnaire was developed, addressing reliability and validity considerations, and given to first year residents and third year medical students (taught by those residents). Completed questionnaires were collected from 76 residents and 110 students (81% of the sample group). Item responses were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics.

Results: Most residents (n = 54; 71%) positively viewed opportunities they had to practice teaching when they were seniors. Residents rated three activities for learning to teach highest: (1) observing teachers as they teach; (2) reviewing the material to be taught; and (3) directly teaching students; representing both individual and participatory ways of learning. Residents’ self ratings of teaching behaviours improved over time and this self assessment by the residents was validated by the students’ responses. Comparison between residents’ self ratings and students’ views of typical resident teaching behaviours showed agreement on levels of competence, confidence, and motivation. The students rated characteristics of enthusiasm, organisation, and fulfilment lower (p<0.002) than residents rated themselves.

Conclusions: The residents and students in this study viewed academic preparation for teaching responsibilities positively and showed agreement on characteristics of good teaching that may be helpful indicators in the process of developing medical teachers.

  • medical education, undergraduate
  • medical education, internship and residency
  • teaching methods
  • experiential learning
  • educational techniques
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  • Funding: none.

  • Competing interests: none.

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