Teaching Skills Curriculum

Studies have estimated that residents spend up to 20% of their time on teaching activities regardless of their department or future career plans. Despite the significant responsibility for teaching medical students and colleagues along with patients and their families residents often have not received formal instruction on how to be effective teachers.

The Internal Medicine Residency Program values the important role that residents assume as teachers. The program also recognizes how complex medical teaching can be when the teacher must meet the needs of the learner while providing care for the patient.

In an effort to help residents develop teaching skills as well as gain confidence as teachers, the program has designed opportunities for residents to improve their teaching skills during their training.

Teaching Skills Curriculum: Residents participate in a longitudinal teaching skills curriculum during the “Y” week block. The goal of the Teaching Skills curriculum is to introduce residents to a knowledge base and skill set used when serving in the role of a clinical educator. The curriculum for all residents presents concepts and allows time for skill development.

Teaching Resident Rotation: For residents interested in further advancing their teaching skills, the residency program also offers a “Teaching Resident” rotation during the PGY3 year. Residents who participate in this 4-week block are provided with extensive opportunities and resources to develop skills for effective teaching including skills for small group facilitation, interacting and teaching with multiple levels of learners and time management. These residents have time available to develop an educational project such as a topic pocket card, a patient simulation or an electronic teaching module. Built into this experience is the opportunity to interact with faculty members who provide feedback and evaluation of the resident’s teaching skills in a variety of teaching activities and venues.

Masters of Medical Education: This program offers a Master in Medical Education degree in order to develop a community of academic medical faculty with formal training in education who will create and sustain a culture of educational excellence within the College of Medicine, the university, and the medical education community at-large.

Jane A. Rowat, MS
Director for Educational Development

Three-Year Rolling Curriculum

Teaching Skills Curriculum goals

The goal of the Teaching Skills curriculum is to introduce residents to a knowledge base and skill set used when serving in the role of a clinical educator. The longitudinal curriculum for all residents presents concepts and allows residents to practice skills associated with topics such as establishing the learning climate, motivating the learner, one-minute preceptor and feedback and evaluation as well as interactive teaching and evaluation.

Sessions are interactive covering a topic related to current best teaching practices. There is time for skill development and through the process of deliberate practice, residents design an action plan for further skill development. Residents complete pre-session readings and following each session are expected to refer to their action plan in teaching encounters.

Session #1: Introduction to Teaching Skills, Learning Climate and Effective Teachers

  1. identify characteristics of exemplary clinical teachers
  2. identify strategies to promote an effective learning climate
  3. demonstrate teaching behaviors that promote an effective learning climate
  4. develop an action plan to improve the learning climate in your own teaching

Session #2: Motivating the Learner

  1. examine contributing factors that affect a learner’s performance.
  2. explain one relevant motivational theory that covers extrinsic & intrinsic motivators.
  3. discuss the importance and impact of a good orientation.
  4. identify components of an orientation.

Session #3: One-Minute Preceptor

  1. describe the 5 elements of the one-minute preceptor model for clinical teaching.
  2. successfully apply the model to a simulated learner presenting a patient.
  3. use the model to develop an assessment of the learner’s current level of knowledge/skill and what the learner needs to know.

Session #4: Feedback

  1. define feedback and give rationale for providing feedback to learners.
  2. recognize barriers to giving feedback.
  3. identify characteristics of effective feedback.
  4. demonstrate effective feedback via observation and practice.
  5. develop an action plan for improving personal feedback skills.

Session #5: Interactive Teaching/Use of Technology

  1. know the goals of effective lecturing/presentation.
  2. describe components of effective lecturing/presentation.
  3. apply specific techniques for making lectures more interactive.

Session #6: Evaluation of Students, Peers and Faculty

  1. define evaluation and differentiate it from feedback.
  2. obtain an understanding of the use of commonly used evaluation tools and techniques.
  3. gain insight into common pitfalls surrounding evaluations.
  4. understand why accurate evaluation is important.