medical education, clinical teaching, case discussion, faculty, residents
Background: Teaching requires a unique knowledge and skill set, from competency-based assessment to digital fluency and teaching of interprofessional teams. However, barriers to faculty development such as lack of time to prepare, incentives, and isolation/lack of support for one’s identity as a clinician teacher are well enumerated, as are the elements of successful programs.
Purpose: To implement an ongoing faculty development case conference call series that expands participants’ teaching strategies, increases their confidence as educators, and strengthens their connections to other teachers.
Methods: Case discussion is signature pedagogy in medical education as it makes the reasoning underlying one’s decisions as a clinician or teacher visible and promotes deeper learning. Using a teaching-focused case methodology, we implemented a monthly 45-minute teaching case conference call series. Participants receive a one-screen email precis of the case 1–2 days in advance and then dial into a conference call. The case is sequentially reviewed with conference participants asking questions/explaining how they may frame the “assessment” and “plan.” The conference ends with key teaching pearls/take-home points, with follow-up readings/resources distributed postconference and a brief evaluation.
Results: Cases have ranged from clinical teaching (a learner who “never got feedback”) and small-group teaching (a learner who was offended by a teacher’s analogy), to unprofessionalism (disruptive/argumentative learners), to teaching the “rock star” residents. Average number of participants was 7, with an upper limit of 11; 18 different physicians and 8 different nurse practitioners have attended at least 1 of the 10 sessions. Evaluations reveal that all participants agree that the case scenario was relevant/ important, expanded teaching strategies, and connected them to others who value teaching. Typical comments include “these sessions are extremely valuable and will improve our learning culture…” and “it’s a relief that I’m not the only one to have had this happen….”
Conclusion: Clinical teachers highly value the difficult teaching case conference call series. The approach is easily transferable to other organizations, requiring no advance participant preparation, and uses telephone access to offer a “safe” place to explore and learn from colleagues’ difficult teaching situations and affirm their roles and value as teachers.
Simpson D, Brill JR, Sood L, Anderson A, Hartlaub J, Getzin A, Knox KE, Kelly CJ, Lehmann W, Haq C. ‘Difficult teaching case’ conference call series — a faculty development strategy. J Patient Cent Res Rev. 2018;5:322.