Background: Although it is often criticised, the lecture remains a fundamental part of medical training because it is an economical and efficient method for teaching both factual and experimental knowledge. However, if administered incorrectly, it can be boring and useless. Feedback from peers is increasingly recognized as an effective method of encouraging self-reflection and continuing professional development. The aim of this observational study is to analyse the impact of written peer feedback on the performance of lecturers in an emergency medicine lecture series for undergraduate students.
Methods: In this prospective study, 13 lecturers in 15 lectures on emergency medicine for undergraduate medical students were videotaped and analysed by trained peer reviewers using a 21-item assessment instrument. The lecturers received their written feedback prior to the beginning of the next years' lecture series and were assessed in the same way.
Results: In this study, we demonstrated a significant improvement in the lecturers' scores in the categories 'content and organisation' and 'visualisation' in response to written feedback. The highest and most significant improvements after written peer feedback were detected in the items 'provides a brief outline', 'provides a conclusion for the talk' and 'clearly states goal of the talk'.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates the significant impact of a single standardized written peer feedback on a lecturer's performance.