A novel survey tool to assess pulmonary and critical care fellows' attitudes regarding acquiring teaching skills during fellowship training

J Grad Med Educ. 2013 Sep;5(3):506-9. doi: 10.4300/JGME-D-12-00153.1.


Background: Important components of fellowship training include learning teaching skills and career development. Pulmonary and critical care medicine (PCCM) fellows' opinions of the importance of developing teaching skills and interest in careers in medical education have not been previously described, and there are no tools to assess interest in acquiring teaching skills.

Objective: We describe the development and initial psychometric validation of a survey tool to assess trainees' attitudes toward and interest in acquiring teaching skills.

Methods: A survey tool to assess attitudes toward teaching and medical education skills was designed and psychometrically characterized. We then anonymously surveyed fellows in 1 PCCM program to assess their perceptions of and attitudes regarding acquiring teaching skills.

Results: The survey tool demonstrated acceptable psychometric properties. The survey showed that most fellows felt that acquiring teaching skills was "very important," and nearly half reported being "interested" or "very interested" in pursuing careers as medical educators. However, fellows disagreed with the feedback they received from attending physicians with regard to their teaching abilities (10% disagreed with feedback at the beginning of the year, 36% disagreed at the end of the year; P = .03).

Conclusions: Our survey demonstrates acceptable psychometric properties and performance characteristics in a single-site study of PCCM fellows during 1 academic year. Fellows are interested in improving their teaching skills but do not know how to become better teachers. Added research in multiple settings should explore the generalizability of our findings.