Skills training of junior medical students: Can peer teaching be the solution?
Background. The system-based curriculum of the Medical College of Alzaiem Alazhari University, Sudan, entails skills training for pre-clerkship students. The increased demands on full-time trained clinical teachers cannot be solved by employing part-time staff owing to the poor financial incentives that are offered.
Objectives. To verify the feasibility of implementing a peer tutor model for skills training of junior students and to establish whether this model can overcome the shortage of clinical teachers.
Methods. Eight selected and trained peer tutors participated in teaching certain aspects related to the basic skills module to 2nd-year students (N=144). Three sessions were prepared, conducted and implemented by peer tutors. The effectiveness of the experience was evaluated by an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) and two questionnaires.
Results. Junior students received the peer teaching sessions favourably and requested a continuation of the process. The performance of the tutees was good. Peer tutors enjoyed and benefited from this teaching method without it negatively affecting their own learning.
Discussion. Our study demonstrated that a peer teaching educational model is feasible and can contribute to solving the problem of skills training of junior medical students. The peer teaching model is effective, provided the tutors are well trained and the educational experience is supervised.
Conclusion. Peer-assisted learning is effective and beneficial for both tutors and tutees in resource-limited environments. It can contribute towards addressing the problem of skills training of junior medical students where there is a shortage of trained clinical teachers.
I M Mutwali, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Alzaiem Alazhari University, Sudan
A N Hassan, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Alzaiem Alazhari University, Sudan
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Date published: 2013-10-28
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