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J Paediatr Child Health. 2010 Nov;46(11):647-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2010.01823.x. Epub 2010 Aug 17.

'I enjoy teaching but...': Paediatricians' attitudes to teaching medical students and junior doctors.

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The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia.



To explore consultant paediatricians' attitudes, motivations, and barriers to training medical students and junior doctors.


Qualitative research involving 24 paediatricians (with a diversity of specialties, experience, age, gender, teaching activity and employment status) from a tertiary paediatric hospital and clinical school in Sydney, Australia. Participants were engaged in semi-structured focus group discussions which explored their attitudes to teaching medical students and junior doctors, their role and experience of teaching, their training in medical education, perceived barriers to teaching, and possible solutions to these barriers. Data from the transcriptions of the focus group discussions were coded using the constant comparative method and analysed for themes using NVivo 7 software. Differences in responses between participants were explored.


All participants reported enjoying teaching. However, a number of factors which occurred at the consultant, learner and institution level affected the enjoyment or challenge of teaching. Consultant factors included time commitments, knowledge of and confidence in the learner's course, and comfort with teaching. Learner factors included level of knowledge, attendance, interest and enthusiasm, and cultural changes. Institution factors included acknowledgement of teaching contribution, communication, teaching support and resources, and attitude to teaching. These factors and the consultant's relationship with the learner and institution impacted on their ownership, involvement, and commitment to teaching.


Consultant paediatricians identified challenges to their involvement and commitment to teaching. Actions to address these challenges and improve the relationship between the consultant and the learner and the consultant and the institution may enhance the consultant's commitment to teaching.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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