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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 29-33

Informal near-peer teaching in medical education: A scoping review

1 Foundation Year Two Doctor, Frimley Park Hospital, Defence Deanery, England
2 Honorary Clinical Lecturer, Department of Medical Education, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Brighton, England

Correspondence Address:
Sebastian C K Shaw
Honorary Clinical Lecturer, Department of Medical Education, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, 344A Watson Building, University of Brighton Falmer Campus, Falmer, BN1 9PH
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/efh.EfH_20_18

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Background: Near-peer teaching (NPT) has a longstanding history within medical education. While it is becoming increasingly recognized within medical curricula, its beginnings can be traced back to informal teaching among medical students. Informal NPT such as this is still commonplace. However, it is often overlooked within the literature and has remained hidden from the scrutiny of evidence-based education. There has been minimal research conducted surrounding NPT outside of formal teaching sessions. Methods: A scoping PubMed search was conducted after identifying appropriate search terms. Directly relevant and high quality articles were included. Results/Synthesis: Within this scoping review, we discuss the potential benefits and shortfalls of such teaching. Results: Benefits include the opportunity for tutors to consolidate their own learning while contributing to the medical school community. Their learners benefit from the opportunity for small group learning focused on a relevant level of knowledge. However, shortfalls include the lack of prerequites, lack of content monitoring, and lack of resources. These should be considered when discussing the efficacy of this teaching. Conclusion: We also explore the wider culture of this informal NPT within medical education. We hope to promote further thought into this area, considering how guidance can be given to support both the near-peer teachers and their learners.

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