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Med Teach. 2014 Nov;36(11):991-6. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2014.920952. Epub 2014 Jul 29.

Teaching behaviors that define highest rated attending physicians: a study of the resident perspective.

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  • 1Duke University , USA .



Better understanding teaching behaviors of highly rated clinical teachers could improve training for teaching. We examined teaching behaviors demonstrated by higher rated attending physicians.


Qualitative and quantitative group consensus using the nominal group technique (NGT) among internal medicine residents and students on hospital services (2004-2005); participants voted on the three most important teaching behaviors (weight of 3 = top rated, 1 = lowest rated). Teaching behaviors were organized into domains of successful rounding characteristics. We used teaching evaluations to sort attending physicians into tertiles of overall teaching effectiveness.


Participants evaluated 23 faculty in 17 NGT sessions. Participants identified 66 distinct teaching behaviors (total sum of weights [sw] = 502). Nineteen items had sw ≥ 10, and these were categorized into the following domains: Teaching Process (n = 8; sw = 215, 42.8%), Learning Atmosphere (n = 5; sw = 145, 28.9%), Role Modeling (n = 3; sw = 74, 14.7%) and Team Management (n = 3; sw = 65, 12.9%). Attendings in the highest tertile received a larger number of votes for characteristics within the Teaching Process domain (56% compared to 39% in lowest tertile).


The most effective teaching behaviors fell into two broad domains: Teaching Process and Learning Atmosphere. Highest rated attending physicians are most recognized for characteristics in the Teaching Process domain.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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