The role of nonphysician consultants as health-care educators in postgraduate programs of anesthesiology

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Many physicians believe that the tasks of postgraduate medical education and faculty development are best carried out by senior physicians trained in the appropriate specialty. However, many also will admit that, as physicians, they have received too little training for such an educational role, and that the practical demands of medical practice, scientific research, and administration make it difficult if not impossible to allocate time to continuing medical education program development, curriculum design for residency training, teacher training, and other key aspects of postgraduate medical education. Many medical disciplines have attempted to alleviate this problem by using nonphysician health-care educational consultants in their training programs. However, little attention has been paid to the possibilities of using such consultants in anesthesiology residency education and faculty development. Such consultants in postgraduate medical education and training programs in anesthesiology could perform a wide variety of functions and roles because they possess skills and technical expertise in teaching, training, curriculum design, evaluation, program planning, and interpersonal communications that faculty members often lack. The successful use of a nonphysician consultant in the Department of Anesthesiology at Hahnemann University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is described.

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