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Year : 2002  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 71-78

Residents as Teachers: Outcomes of a Brief Training Programme

1 Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, NSW 2031, Australia
2 School of Medical Education, UNSW, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, NSW 2031, Australia
3 Department of Respiratory Medicine, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, NSW 2031, Australia
4 Department of Surgery, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, NSW 2031, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Paul S Thomas
Department of Respiratory Medicine, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, NSW 2031
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Introduction: Residents (RMOs) teach medical students in hospital wards, yet little evidence of ef.cacy is available for this activity. This study undertook to test the effectiveness of RMO teaching, and to delineate the principal barriers encountered. Methods: Medical students in their fourth year were assessed at baseline for clinical examination skills in ophthalmoscopy, neurological examination of the legs, and rheumatological examination of the hands. One group of RMOs (n=6) taught ophthalmoscopy to the students attached to their unit, while the second group of RMOs (n=6) taught leg examination to their students. The third examination skill was not taught, but was used as a control intervention. The students were evaluated in all three skills by an observed, structured clinical examination at the beginning and end of their six-week attachments. Results: There was a signi.cant improvement in the skill of ophthalmoscopy in the intervention group (p50.02), while the control group of students showed a decline in their abilities. The skill of examination of the legs improved after being taught, but not signi.cantly. The RMOs universally reported that dif.culty in .nding time was a major barrier to their ability to teach medical students, and most set up additional teaching sessions rather than incorporate the teaching into their routine ward work. Conclusions: RMO teaching of medical students is effective, particularly for a skill which is novel. The dif.culties arise in .nding a suitable time for these important clinical teachers to transfer their skills.

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