The Teaching Skills Curriculum in the Internal Medicine Residency Program recognizes the importance of training residents how to teach, since nearly one-fifth of their time is spent engaged in mentoring or teaching activities. Formal guided opportunities now exist at Iowa for residents to refine their abilities, especially for those interested in becoming physician educators.
Designed by Dr. Manish Suneja, Residency Director, and Jane Rowat, Educational Development Director, the curriculum is a three-year rolling plan, ensuring residents get exposure to all components by the time they complete the program.
One component, reserved for third-year residents, is the Teaching Resident Rotation, a four-week rotation during which participants facilitate small-group learning sessions, develop an educational project, and regularly provide individual learners with feedback and evaluation of their progress. Teaching Residents deliver lectures that are responsive to recent encounters and to learner needs and interests, an essential pedagogical skill for an academic physician.
Dr. Carolyn Hilliard, rising Chief Resident for the 2018-19 academic year, had the following to say about her recent experience on the rotation:
“I loved the teaching rotation, I have always seen myself in academic medicine and I really enjoy working with medical students. The rotation was an awesome learning experience for me because I am much more used to hands on, 1-minute clinical pearls teaching at bedside or right after I see a patient with a medical student, so to create a didactic lecture that was engaging and blended patients I knew into the topics was definitely a fun challenge. It also allowed me to work on question-writing for tests, which is something I’ve found fun since a few exposures in medical school and hope to someday do more of.”