Residents are one of the prime sources of information and education for medical students. As an initial step in supporting residents as teachers, a baseline self-assessment of residents’ knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values related to teaching was conducted among psychiatry and family medicine residents to compare and improve their confidence and skills as teachers.
Psychiatry residents (N=12) and family medicine residents (N=23) completed self-assessments of their knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values related to teaching. Residents also were asked to list steps used in the One-Minute Preceptor process and estimate the time each spent in teaching. Descriptive summary statistics were used for four main areas related to teaching; t-test and chi-square analyses were conducted to ascertain whether there was a significant difference in resident groups.
In the current study, the perceived amount of time spent for teaching patients was significantly higher among family practice residents, whereas no group differences were found for time teaching medical students, peers, community members, non-physicians, or others. However, family medicine residents rated themselves higher than psychiatry residents in their understanding of their roles in teaching medical students and teaching patients. Also, family medicine residents’ self-reported teaching skills were more advanced (82.4%) than psychiatry residents’ (54.2%). They most likely applied at least two different teaching methods in inpatient and outpatient settings, as compared with psychiatry residents. No significant group differences were found in the other 15 items assessing teaching knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values.
Results indicate that residents’ knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values regarding teaching varies across institutions and training programs. The psychiatry residents in this study do not clearly understand their role as educators with patients and medical students; they have a less clear understanding of teaching techniques, and report spending less time educating patients than do family medicine residents. The differences might be due to different patient populations and treatment settings. The study suggests that psychiatry residents may have difficulty adapting the One-Minute Preceptor technique in psychiatric settings. Results serve as a benchmarking study in a performance-improvement program to enhance psychiatry residents’ teaching skills.