Learning how to teach at medical school

Twitter: @malamawks | Instagram: @malamawkin

In 5th year we are all given a compulsory one week of teaching skills. It is hard to imagine why we need to learn how to teach- surely everyone knows the basics?! But actually, what I found over the week was how little I actually knew about teaching and how vital it is for being a good doctor- whether you are training medical students, teaching colleagues about cases or even presenting at a conference.

We learnt the basis on teaching skills and theory behind practical methods on the Monday, which lead us to be split into teams to design and teach each other how to make a paper airplane (very competitive!). On Monday afternoon we all had to come up with something to teach in 5 mins and teach a small group- I learnt how to use chopsticks, how to make a paper boat…and I taught everyone some practical tips on haircare (very amusing for me to teach!).

On the Tuesday we were all assigned a 3rd year student to teach, and me and my partner spent a few hours with our student running over cardio examination and then going up to the wards and practicing it on some patients. Was great to see the student improve, and we definitely improved our teaching style!

Wednesday was intense, we learnt about what learning styles we all had and then planned a teaching session directed at that. It was the first time in medical school people stayed an hour late on a Wednesday out of…fun. It was really interesting and interactive and I have even learnt tips I can use in my revision!

On Thursday we created a pathology tutorial in groups that we delivered on Friday. Ours was very interactive with a game for everyone to play within it. We all got individualised feedback and completed our own reflective log. All in all, a fantastic week ran by a superb teaching fellow and her team. I did not think I would enjoy teaching skills week as much as I did, but I reckon that all medical schools (if not already doing so!) should follow Imperial and implement this as it really is a great programme.

Teaching Skills Week!

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