Co-teaching: a faculty development strategy

Med Educ. 2000 Apr;34(4):257-65. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2923.2000.00494.x.


It has been stated that faculty development programmes which are closely linked to particular teaching contexts are most likely to be effective. Over the past 10 years we have developed a model of 'co-teaching' for faculty development which is based upon this premise and which can be applied to any clinical rotation. In this paper we describe our model, in which paired physicians focus on developing their teaching skills while sharing the clinical supervision of residents and medical students. Through iterative phases of teaching, debriefing and planning, co-teachers gain experience in analysing teaching encounters and develop skills in self-evaluation. Teaching occurs in the usual clinical settings such as attending (consultant) teaching rounds, clinic precepting, and case conferences. We discuss our model in the context of educational theory and related literature. We support our positive assessment of the co-teaching model through the precepts of collaborative inquiry and case study methodology. Vignettes, taken from the experiences of the authors, are used to demonstrate how the model is used to develop effective solutions to problems and to help in the maturation of one's skill as an educator. Successful implementation of the model is predicated on the development of a truly collaborative process between co-teachers. We share lessons we have learned from our experience of implementing the model in different clinical venues, such as the contrast between teaching on a hospital ward or in the clinic. This collaborative process has been well received by junior and senior faculty participants in our institution for more than a decade.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Medical, Graduate / methods*
  • Faculty, Medical*
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine / education*
  • Medical Staff, Hospital
  • Program Evaluation
  • Staff Development / methods*
  • Teaching / methods*