Fall 2010
Resident Round-Up

synapse: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

Andy Michelson

Andy Michelson, M.D.'08, believes the training and certification provided by the program will assist him in the betterment of resident-directed teaching.

Residents as teachers

By Laura Levin

A long time goal of the Offices of Graduate Medical Education and Undergraduate Medical Education has been to provide residents with the skills needed to teach.

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education requires residents serving as teachers to be prepared for their roles in teaching and assessment. That, along with the requirement of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to teach residents to teach, solidify the need for the Residents As Teachers Program.

“One of the things we discovered was that our residents knew the clerkship educational objectives but did not for the most part have the actual skills or tools to implement what they were teaching,” said Miriam Bar-on, M.D., associate dean for graduate medical education.

Subsequently, discussions were held at the School of Medicine’s graduate medical education committee and an interactive online set of modules that residents could work through was developed.

In addition, program modules were introduced into interdisciplinary grand rounds, intern orientation and into individual program’s didactic sessions. The program’s primary goal is to develop solid teaching skills in residents so they are more comfortable and capable in instructing medical students. Residents who complete all seven modules and take the associated quizzes, obtaining a score of 70 percent or greater, receive a certificate.

Residents make a major contribution to student education. National data from residency program directors have shown that 62 percent of the medical students’ teaching is done by residents. As such, they are in a position to offer more contact in a one-to-one teaching atmosphere and are able to provide information to faculty to enhance student evaluations.

Teaching is beneficial to the residents as well as students because it significantly improves resident learning and acquisition of knowledge. As the saying goes, “to teach is to learn twice.” Competency in a clinical setting also correlates positively with teaching skills and abilities.

“Each time I have a medical student with me I am able to review my medical knowledge with them. It also allows me to do more learning on subjects where I am not as strong,” said Helen Gray, M.D.’08, a program certificate holder and third-year family medicine resident in Reno.

The online program consists of modules and a link to the Clinical Teaching Perception Inventory developed by the Group on Resident Affairs of the American Association of Medical Colleges.

Program modules include an introduction and techniques for adult learning as well as six other focused presentations on key skills needed by residents to teach medical students and other junior colleagues. Modules are geared to solidify resident teaching skills from an academic, practical and fun perspective.

“The program brought a little structure to what I had already been doing,” said Vanessa Walker, M.D., a certificate holder and chief internal medicine resident in Reno. “It was an opportunity for me to reflect on the areas in which I was doing well and the areas that I could use some improvement.”

At the end of its first year, 91 residents from both Las Vegas and Reno training programs (residency and fellowship) or 41 percent of School of Medicine trainees received certificates. This program has been successful and additional modules are in the process of being developed. Residents and fellows will soon have the opportunity to receive an advanced certificate.

“Hopefully continued participation in the program will foster a global environment that provides constructive feedback goaled towards both what to do more of and what to do less of in one’s developing practice,” said Andy Michelson, M.D.’08, a program graduate and third-year emergency medicine resident in Las Vegas.