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Foundation doctor-led clinical teaching: A new innovation in the undergraduate curriculum

Introduction: Since its introduction in 1988 by Whitman the concept of the near-peer teacher has gained a lot of popularity amongst educationalists across the globe. Teaching imparted by near-peers has been proven to be effective and has been rated by some students to be comparable to consultant-led teaching. We introduced such a programme in April 2012 at Lincoln County Hospital in the United Kingdom. The programme was organized by Foundation doctors for third year University of Nottingham medical students.

Objective: To ascertain the value attached to this new teaching intervention by the medical students.

Method: The students were asked to complete a structured questionnaire at the start, mid-way and end of the teaching programme to self-assess their clinical skills and to assess the teaching programme.

Result: There was a subjective increase in student confidence in their own skills at historytaking, clinical examination and diagnostic ability over the duration of the course. Further, they felt that the foundation doctor-led teaching was a useful adjunct to the already existing teaching programme and should continue beyond this pilot year.

Conclusion: The newly introduced foundation doctor led teaching programme was welcomed by students and hopefully should continue to evolve over the coming years to make it even better. Such courses should be encouraged as they improve learning opportunities for the students andprovide junior doctors an invaluable teaching experience which is useful for their portfolios.

Author(s): James Stephen Thomas , Zafar Hashim , Noureen Fahim

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