Factors influencing residents' evaluations of clinical faculty member teaching qualities and role model status

Med Educ. 2012 Apr;46(4):381-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.2011.04176.x.


Objectives: Evaluations of faculty members are widely used to identify excellent or substandard teaching performance. In order to enable such evaluations to be properly interpreted and used in faculty development, it is essential to understand the factors that influence resident doctors' (residents) evaluations of the teaching qualities of faculty members and their perceptions of faculty members as role-model specialists.

Methods: We carried out a cross-sectional survey within a longitudinal study of the System for Evaluation of Teaching Qualities (SETQ) of clinical teachers. The study sample included 889 residents and 1014 faculty members in 61 teaching programmes spanning 22 specialties in 20 hospitals in the Netherlands. Main outcome measures included residents' (i) global and (ii) specific ratings of faculty member teaching qualities, and (iii) global ratings of faculty members as role-model specialists. Statistical analysis was conducted using adjusted multivariable logistic generalised estimating equations.

Results: In total, 690 residents (77.6%) completed 6485 evaluations of 962 faculty members, 848 (83.6%) of whom also self-evaluated. More recently certified faculty members, those who had attended a teacher training programme, and those who spent more time teaching than seeing patients or conducting research were more likely to score highly on most teaching qualities. However, faculty members who had undergone teacher training were less likely to be seen as role models (odds ratio [OR] 0.72, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.59-0.88). In addition, faculty members were evaluated slightly higher by male than female residents on core teaching domains and overall teaching quality, but were less likely to be seen as role models by male residents (OR 0.80, 95% CI 0.67-0.97). Lastly, faculty members had higher odds of receiving top scores in specific teaching domains from residents in the first 4 years of residency and were less likely to be considered as role models by more senior residents.

Conclusions: Younger faculty members who dedicated more time to teaching, had attended a teacher training programme, and were evaluated by male residents in the early years of residency were more likely to receive higher scores for teaching performance.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Faculty, Medical / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / standards*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Program Evaluation
  • Regression Analysis
  • Staff Development / standards*
  • Students, Medical / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching / standards*