Junior doctor teaching delivered by near peers.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Near-peer teaching - trainees teaching more junior trainee colleagues - has been widely described in undergraduate medical education. Several benefits have been reported, including a more comfortable learning environment for learners and the development of tutors' teaching skills. Near-peer teaching programmes in postgraduate training are less commonly described in the existing literature, however. This article outlines a pilot study of a postgraduate near-peer teaching programme implemented at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle, UK.

METHODS

A 16-week teaching programme was developed in which core medical trainees delivered teaching sessions to their more junior Foundation Year-2 colleagues. The teaching was based on cases that the Foundation Year-2 doctors frequently manage during clinical practice. Evaluation questionnaires were completed and learners were asked to rate their confidence in managing the cases before and after each session. Furthermore, each tutor underwent a standardised teaching assessment during their first and final sessions.

RESULTS

Fifteen sessions were delivered by four tutors. All sessions received positive feedback from learners with nine sessions receiving a five out of five rating. In addition, the confidence ratings of the learners increased following each session. The tutors improved in all items of the teaching assessments and the overall rating of their teaching. Near-peer teaching could enhance the training of junior doctors DISCUSSION: The results of this pilot study suggest that the benefits described in undergraduate near-peer teaching programmes may also be seen in postgraduate medical education. Thus near-peer teaching could enhance the training of junior doctors, and we encourage the proliferation of such programmes to further evaluate their benefits in this setting.

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