The student becomes the teacher

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Lectures delivered by residents received similar evaluations as lectures delivered by faculty members, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Though the primary focus of medical students in radiology departments is education, many are given the opportunity to participate in student teaching during their residencies. While previous research has demonstrated the benefit of formal resident-as-teacher programs for both residents and students, literature is scarce regarding students’ perceptions of radiology resident educators versus attending radiologists.

David M. Naeger, MD, of the University of California-San Francisco, and colleagues retrospectively compared medical student evaluations of radiology resident lectures with lecture evaluations of radiology faculty members.

Of 307 lectures given during the course of a year, faculty members received a mean score of 9.10 (out of 10), fellows 8.45, and residents 8.99. Fellows scored significantly lower than attending faculty members and residents. The overall differences in scores was determined to be statistically significant.

“We consider teaching a useful skill, regardless of career path,” wrote Naegar et al. “Therefore, if residents are guided and actively engaged in teaching, the experience could be beneficial to residents and students alike. We do want to emphasize, however, that residents should not be used as the primary educators in medical student electives, particularly in the absence of supervision and feedback.”