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What Anesthesiology Residents Defined As Effective Teaching Applies to Everyone

The journal Anesthesiology recently published an interesting article in their annual January 2014 Education Edition. It's called Resident Assessment of Better-Than and Worse-Than-Average Clinical Teaching, by Bishr et al. The authors reviewed a year's' worth of resident reviews of all faculty members in a single department to identify common themes shared among above average and below average evaluations. They even used linear regression to evaluate the predictive association of the themes in the good or bad evaluaions. After reporting of this data, their summary of recommendations for effective teaching, divided into four main catagories (and slightly paraphrased by me), are as follows:
Teaching -
  • Support teaching with primary literature
  • Explain clinical decision making
  • Make teaching a priority
Supervision -
  • Teaching should be clinically relevant
  • Balance appropriate autonomy with supervision
  • Challenge residents to a higher level of performance
  • Be patient and supportive while teaching a new procedure
  • Encourage creativity with methods/procedures
  • Demonstrate maintenance of clinical skills/knowledge
Feedback -
  • Give clear, constructive, and developmental feedback
Interpersonal -
  • Treat residents colleagially and respectfully
  • Be gentle and timely with criticism, and never criticize another resident who isn't present
  • Avoid outward displays of frustration, anger, or impatience

The last couple points under "interpersonal" struck me, because I specifically remember those things being done by some poor instructors when I was a resident. I remember thinking at the time that their behavior was the epitome of being unprofessional, and it left an impact on how I wanted to practice anesthesiology when I was finished with my training. On the flip side, I thoroughly appreciated the attendings who struck the appropriate balance between autonomy and supervision, and I loved it when they would engage me with hypothetical "board-like" scenarios in the OR.

I thought these would be good points to share because they really apply to personal interactions with coworkers, team members, customers, etc. in any field of work. Are there any key interpersonal skills that stand out as integral to your work? Share them below!


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