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Clin Teach. 2017 Oct 9. doi: 10.1111/tct.12708. [Epub ahead of print]

Peer teaching of the physical exam: a pilot study.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
2
Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
3
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Mastery of the physical exam (PE), and the ability to teach it to peers and medical students, are important milestones for residents (junior doctors); however, several reports indicate that PE skills are in decline. To address this need, we explored the use of peer observation of teaching (POT) as a conceptual framework to develop an innovative approach to PE teaching at the postgraduate medical education level.

INNOVATION:

We designed a PE POT session to be conducted at the patient bedside, and piloted four sessions in April 2014. Sessions involved a senior medicine resident teaching a focused PE to their team (consisting of two postgraduate first-year residents), while being observed by a peer, followed by feedback anchored in 11 validated measures of clinical teaching. The sessions were completed in 30-35 minutes and were enthusiastically received by residents. Participants valued the interactive approach and the opportunity to exchange feedback with a peer on their PE teaching skills.

IMPLICATIONS:

This pilot using POT methodology to teach the PE addressed mandatory core competencies related to patient care and practice-based learning and improvement. Residents gained insights on their PE teaching skills while interacting with their peers in a novel and reciprocal learning opportunity. This experience helped participants to value their role as PE teachers and generate strategies to change their teaching behaviours. Despite this being a small study, POT offers an innovative approach to teach the PE at the postgraduate level, with the potential to address the gap of PE teaching and learning. Several reports indicate that physical exam skills are in decline.

PMID:
28990336
DOI:
10.1111/tct.12708

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