Are All Teaching Activities Valued the Same? Their Relative Worth Is in the Eye of the Beholder

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Abstract

Objectives

The pressures for generating revenue from clinical activities dissuade clinician-educators from teaching; taking the steps to develop an educational value system is a way to recognize and perhaps support education. We compared the perceived educational value of diverse pedagogical activities during clinical training from students, residents, and faculty in medical and surgical specialties.

Methods

Between 2016 and 2017, a survey among medical students, residents, and faculty from medical (internal medicine, pediatrics) or surgical (general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology) departments was conducted at an academic medical center that sponsors 88 training programs. Participants ranked teaching activities relative to their perceived teaching importance.

Results

In total, 156 subjects participated (48 core teaching faculty, 68 residents, and 40 medical students). Teaching in the wards was the highest-ranked teaching activity for medical (mean 1.6) and surgical specialties (mean 1.9). For medicine and pediatrics, active teaching activities were ranked higher (mean 2.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.8–3.0) than passive teaching activities (mean 5.3, 95% CI 5.1–5.5, P < 0.001). Similarly, for surgery and obstetrics and gynecology, active teaching activities were ranked higher (mean 3.6, 95% CI 3.3–3.9) than passive teaching activities (mean 5.2, 95% CI 4.8–5.5, P < 0.001).

Conclusions

Medical students, residents, and faculty across specialties have a high degree of agreement regarding the ranking of diverse pedagogical activities; such correlation will facilitate the interpretation of educational value units across specialties.

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