Background: Residents play an important role in teaching of medical undergraduate students. Despite their importance in teaching undergraduates they are not involved in any formal training in teaching and leadership skills. We aimed to compare the teaching skills of residents with faculty in facilitating small group Problem Based Learning (PBL) sessions.
Methods: This quasi experimental descriptive comparative research involved 5 postgraduate year 4 residents and five senior faculty members. The study was conducted with all phase III (Final year) students rotating in Gastroenterology. The residents and faculty members received brief training of one month in facilitation and core principles of adult education. Different aspects of teaching skills of residents and faculty were evaluated by students on a questionnaire (graded on Likert Scale from 1 to 10) assessing i) Knowledge Base-content Learning (KBL), ii) PBL, iii) Student Centered Learning (SCL) and iv) Group Skills (GS).
Results: There were 33 PBL teaching sessions in which 120 evaluation forms were filled; out of these 53% forms were filled for residents and 47% for faculty group. The faculty showed a statistically greater rating in "KBL" (faculty 8.37 Vs resident 7.94; p-value 0.02), "GS" (faculty 8.06 vs. residents 7.68; p-value 0.04). Differences in faculty and resident scores in "the PBL" and "SCL" were not significant. The overall score of faculty facilitators, however, was statistically significant for resident facilitators. (p = .05).
Conclusion: 1) Residents are an effective supplement to faculty members for PBL; 2) Additional facilitators for PBL sessions can be identified in an institution by involvement of residents in teacher training workshops.