Teaching psychiatry residents to teach: a national survey

Acad Psychiatry. 2013 Jan 1;37(1):23-6. doi: 10.1176/appi.ap.11080147.


Objective: Because there have been no previously published national surveys on teaching psychiatry residents about how to teach, the authors surveyed United States psychiatry program directors on what and how residents are taught about teaching.

Methods: All psychiatry training programs across the United States were mailed a semistructured questionnaire; 95 responded (response rate: 53%). The survey included questions on what, if anything, was provided in the way of formal instruction; the number of seminars offered each year; texts and other materials that were used for teaching; and how seminars were evaluated.

Results: The majority (N=69, 73%) of all responding programs provided formal instruction to residents about how to teach. Topics most commonly taught included evaluation and feedback (N=57; 60%), lecturing skills (N=43; 45%), small-group skills (N=40; 42%), learning theory (N=37; 39%), and problem-based learning (N=36; 38%). Instructional methods used were predominantly group discussion (N=62; 65%), lecturing (N=59; 62%), reading of relevant literature (N=35; 37%), role-playing (N=33; 35%), and audiovisual instruction (N=32; 34%). There was a heterogeneity of texts and materials used for teaching. Few of the programs utilized formal validated and reliable tools for evaluating their teaching.

Conclusion: Although most programs provided formal teaching, there remains a need to further develop teaching programs and to create model ones.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Curriculum / standards*
  • Data Collection
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / standards*
  • Psychiatry / education*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching / standards*
  • United States