Purpose: To determine the effect that a six-hour course on resident teaching and leadership skills had on residents' teaching evaluations.
Method: The authors analyzed six years of teaching evaluations of second- and third-year internal medicine residents at the University of Washington: three years before and three years after a resident teaching skills course was introduced in 1992. Interns and students rated their resident-teachers using a nine-question standardized clinical teaching assessment form (CTAF). Evaluations at baseline (the three years before the course) were compared with evaluations for the three years after the intervention.
Results: The authors analyzed 3,946 evaluations of 235 second-year and 211 third-year residents. Despite already high baseline evaluations, mean ratings of the CTAF showed continuous and statistically significant improvement in each year after the introduction of the course (p < .001). There was no significant difference between evaluations from students and those from interns.
Conclusion: A six-hour teaching skills course significantly improved residents' teacher ratings. Residents are important teachers of interns and medical students and serve as their primary ward supervisors; therefore, sessions on teaching skills should be part of required curricula for all residency programs.