What do medical students expect in a teacher?

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Abstract

Background:

Medical students prefer some teachers over others within the same medical school or department. The objective of our study was to find out what qualities may allow all teachers to be nearly on a par in terms of student preference.

Methods:

A single-centre cross-sectional study was conducted among first- to fifth-year medical students. All students were surveyed with a questionnaire to identify the qualities that they would like to see in their medical teachers. Three rounds of survey were conducted using the Modified Delphi technique in order to obtain the consensus of the students. If more than 85 per cent of the students agreed on a quality, it was considered final. In the final round students were asked to rate the chosen qualities in order of importance. The data were analysed using the statistical software spss 17.

Results:

A total of 181 students responded to the survey. The qualities identified by medical students were grouped into four major and 11 minor categories. All qualities were ranked according to importance, as determined by the students. Teaching (158; 88%) and interpersonal (157; 87%) skills were ranked as the most important skills required of a medical teacher, followed by personal (150; 83%) and professional (140; 77%) skills. Administrative skills were deemed the least essential (112; 62%) of the skills sought in a medical educator.

Conclusion:

Medical students’ preference for one teacher over another is directly correlated with a teacher's ability to teach, his or her interpersonal skills, as well as personal and professional qualities.

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