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The steep learning curve of medical education

  • Hany George El-Sayeh (a1), Robert Waller (a2), Simon Budd (a2) and John Holmes (a2)
Abstract

This article focuses on the complex issues surrounding the need for adequate training in medical education for all clinicians. Many recent landmark papers, including guidance from the General Medical Council, have expressed the importance of formal training. Although the article points out that the majority of clinicians will probably not need to attend such courses, a few generic skills in teaching large and small groups may be of benefit to most. The authors call for the recognition of teaching duties in psychiatrist's contracts and discuss the wider implications of sound medical teaching for the recruitment and retention crisis in psychiatry.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Brown, S., Mcdowell, L. & Race, P. (1995) 500 Tips for Research Students. London: Kogan Page.
Cantillon, P. (2003) ABC of Learning and Teaching in Medicine – Teaching Large Groups. BMJ, 326, 437.
Department of Health (2003) Revised Terms and Conditions of Service for NHS Consultants. London: Department of Health (available at http://www.dh.gov.uk/assetRoot/04/07/05/90/04070590.pdf).
General Medical Council (2002) Tomorrow's Doctors: Recommendations on Undergraduate Medical Education. London: GMC.
Gibbs, G. & Coffey, M. (2004) The impact of training of university teachers on their teaching skills, their approach to teaching and their approach to learning of their students. Active Learning in Higher Education, 5, 87100.
Macmanaway, M. A. (1970) Teaching methods in higher education – innovation and research. Universities Quarterly, 24, 321329.
National Committee of Inquiry Into Higher Education (1997) Report of the National Committee: Higher Education in the Learning Society. London: HMSO.
Pidd, S. A. (2003) Recruiting and retaining psychiatrists. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 9, 405411.
Quality Assurance Agency For Higher Education (QAA) (2002) Subject Benchmark Statements – Medicine(available at http://www.qaa.uk/crntwork/benchmark/phase2/medicine/pdf).
Race, P. (2001) The Lecturers Toolkit, 2nd edn. London: Kogan Page.
Ring, H., Mumford, D. & Katona, C. (1999) Psychiatry in the new undergraduate curriculum. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 5, 415419.
Standing Committeeon Postgraduate Medical Education (1994) Creating a Better Learning Environment in Hospitals. Teaching Hospital Doctors and Dentists to Teach. London: SCOPME.
World Psychiatric Association (1999) Core Curriculum in Psychiatry for Medical Students (available at http://www.wpanet.org/home.html).
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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The steep learning curve of medical education

  • Hany George El-Sayeh (a1), Robert Waller (a2), Simon Budd (a2) and John Holmes (a2)
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eLetters

The steep learning curve of medical education

Muhammad Saleem Tareen, Specialist registrar GAP
12 October 2005

In this article El-Sayeh et al argued that increasing demands on educators necessitates a more structured and formal approach. They highlight the issue of lack of formal training for doctors who teach and train and offer very useful advice. The General Medical Council in their document 'The Doctor as Teacher' acknowledges that while consultants have a contractual requirement to teach, clinicians in all grades may now have to combine service to patients with teaching duties.

There are many obstacles to accessing formal teaching course. These include clinical commitments, research and special interest activities.Some times geographical location such as living in Northern Ireland may exacerbates the difficulties as it involves travel and means more days away from family.

Against this background I choose to access training for teaching through e-learning. I had some reservations as I felt it would require a lot of motivation and my computer skills were also somewhat rusty. My experience overall was positive. It met my educational objectives. I was able to attend the course at my own pace and at times that suited me. I found it manageable. It also exposed me to a more diverse group of people with different needs. However I was challenged by the fact that my attention span using e-learning method, decreases significantly. SometimesI felt that I was studying in isolation and it demanded a lot of self- persuasion and personal motivation to complete the course.

However on the whole I found it a useful experience and it is my opinion that e-learning may be a feasible solution to some of the problemsin training of medical teachers.

References

El-Sayeh et al (2005)The steep learning curve of medical education. Psychiatric bulletin 29, 312-314

GENERAL MEDICAL COUNCIL (1999)The Doctors as Teacher. The New Doctor London; GMC

Dr Muhammad Saleem TareenSpecialist Registrar GAPGransha Hospital Londonderry
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Conflict of interest: None Declared

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