Objectives: To examine the evaluation methods of resident teaching courses and to estimate the effectiveness of these teaching courses.
Design: We searched the literature from 1975 to May 2003 using the PubMed MESH terms internship and residency and teaching; 1,436 articles were identified and 77 contained information regarding teaching courses. Fourteen articles contained information regarding outcomes of resident teaching courses and were selected for intensive review.
Main results: Five uncontrolled pre-post studies used resident self-reported teaching skills/behaviors as outcome measures; all reported some improvement in self-reported skills. Three uncontrolled pre-post studies examined live or videotaped resident teaching encounters and all revealed improvement in some teaching skills. One uncontrolled trial and three nonrandomized controlled trials used learner evaluations of resident teaching behaviors as outcomes and all revealed an improvement in ratings of residents after course participation. Four randomized controlled trials of resident teaching curricula are included in this review. One study did not show any quantitative benefit of a resident teaching course on performance on an objective structured teaching evaluation. Two studies assessing resident teaching evaluations before and after course participation showed conflicting results. One study noted improvements in resident teaching skills assessed through videotape analysis.
Conclusions: Resident teaching courses improve resident self-assessed teaching behaviors and teaching confidence. Teaching courses are linked to improved student evaluations. Further studies must be completed to elucidate the best format, length, timing, and content of resident teaching courses and to determine whether they have an effect on learner performance.