Introduction: Many of the residents who supervise medical students in clinical practice are unfamiliar with the principles of effective supervision. Training in teaching skills is therefore seen as an effective strategy to improve the quality of clinical supervision.
Method: Twenty seven medical residents were matched and assigned to an experimental group (n = 14) and a control group (n = 13). The experimental group participated in a two-day workshop on teaching skills. Using standardized questionnaires, the teaching abilities of all participants were assessed anonymously by medical students, before and after the workshop, to determine for any effect of the intervention.
Results: A significant improvement in the teaching abilities of the medical residents in the experimental group was observed following the workshop (t=-2.68, p=0.02). The effect size within the experimental group was large (d=1.17), indicating that the workshop led to a measurable positive change in the medical residents' teaching abilities. The effect size estimated from the post intervention scores on teaching ability of the two groups showed a moderate improvement (d=0.57) in the experimental group compared with the control group.
Discussion: Medical students rated the teaching abilities of the workshop participants after the training more highly than those of the residents in the control group. The ability to adjust teaching to the needs of the students and teach effective communication and diagnostic clinical skills were among the features that characterized effective teaching. Properly designed, teacher-training workshops could be effective and feasible methods to improve the quality of teaching by medical residents.