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Pediatr Neurol. 2018 Jan;78:41-45. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2017.09.006. Epub 2017 Sep 21.

The Child Neurology Trainee-as-Teacher: A Clinical Teaching Curriculum Tailored to Learners' Needs and Developmental Roles.

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Department of Neurology, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts. Electronic address:
Department of Neurology, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.



Clinical teaching skills programs for resident physicians are increasingly offered. Less attention has been devoted to the unique educational roles of specialty residents and subspecialty fellows, many of whom will become academic faculty physicians. These teaching roles, and therefore a trainee's learning needs and motivation, also change over the course of training.


We designed and implemented a two-year longitudinal teaching curriculum for child neurology and neurodevelopmental disabilities residents using adult learning theory principles: experiential learning and immediate applicability to specific roles. Core modules included teaching in clinical settings, adult learning, and giving feedback. Training-year-specific modules for second-year residents (n = 11) and final-year residents (n = 10) included teaching through consultation and promoting clinical reasoning in supervisory roles. Learners completed an 11-item self-assessment before and after intervention.


The overall program significantly increased residents' self-assessed knowledge of how to assess the level of a learner (P = 0.02, Cohen d = 0.84) and comfort and skill in giving feedback (P = 0.04, d = 0.64; P = 0.04, d = 0.71). The final-year-specific curriculum additionally increased self-assessed skill in teaching same-specialty residents (P = 0.05, d = 1.07) and in promoting clinical reasoning (P = 0.03, d = 1.14). The program was rated highly by trainees and faculty, and has been adopted as an ongoing part of our training program.


Our experience offers a reproducible model and theoretical framework for child neurology, neurodevelopmental disabilities, and other specialty programs to develop customized trainee-as-teacher curricula with specialty- and training-year-specific content.


child neurology; clinical teaching; education; graduate medical education; neurodevelopmental disabilities; residency; resident-as-teacher; trainee-as-teacher

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