Essential Skills for a Medical Teacher

An Introduction to Teaching and Learning in Medicine

  • Steven Kanter, MD, Vice Dean, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
  • By

    • Ronald Harden, OBE MD FRCP(Glas) FRCPC FRCSEd, Professor Emeritus Medical Education, University of Dundee, UK; General Secretary, Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE).
    • Jennifer Laidlaw, DipEdTech MMEd, Formerly Assistant Director, Education Development Unit, Scottish Council for Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education and the University of Dundee, Dundee, UK

    2013 BMA Medical Book Awards Highly Commended in Basis of Medicine!

    Essential Skills for a Medical Teacher is a new book that will serve as a perfect introduction for new teachers to the exciting opportunities facing them, whether they are working in undergraduate, postgraduate or continuing education. It will also be of considerable use to more experienced teachers to review and assess their own practice and gain a new perspective on how best to facilitate their students' or trainees' learning. The contents are based on the authors’ extensive experience of what works in medical education, whether in teaching and curriculum planning or in the organisation of faculty development courses in medical education at basic and advanced levels.

    About the authors

    Ronald M Harden is General Secretary for the Association of Medical Education in Europe, Editor of Medical Teacher, former Professor of Medical Education, Director of the Centre for Medical Education and Teaching Dean at the University of Dundee, UK and Professor of Medical Education at Al-Imam University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He is internationally recognised for his commitment to developing new approaches to medical education, curriculum planning and to teaching and learning. His contributions to excellence in medical education have attracted numerous awards.

    Jennifer M Laidlaw is Former Assistant Director of the Education Development Unit of the Scottish Council for Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education and the University of Dundee, UK. She has planned, organised and lead courses on medical education both in Dundee and overseas. She has acted as a medical education consultant for the World Health Organisation, the British Council, medical schools and colleges.

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Book information

  • Published: April 2012
  • Imprint: CHURCHILL LIVINGSTONE
  • ISBN: 978-0-7020-5120-3


Table of Contents

Section 1 The roles and competences of a "good" teacher

  • What is a good teacher?.
  • Understanding basic educational principles.
  • Being an enthusiastic and passionate teacher
  • Knowing what works best.
  • Checking your performance as a teacher and keeping up-to-date.

Section 2 Defining Learning outcomes

  • The need for an outcome-based approach.
  • Specifying learning outcomes and competencies.
  • Describing and communicating the learning outcomes.
  • Implementing an outcome-based approach in practice.

Section 3 Organising the learning programme

  • What constitutes a curriculum
  • Ten questions to ask when planning a curriculum
  • Sequencing the content and the spiral curriculum.
  • Adopting a student-centred approach
  • Building learning around problems and clinical presentations
  • Using an integrated and inter-professional approach
  • Making the apprenticeship model and work-based learning more effective.
  • Building options into a core curriculum
  • Recognising the importance of the education environment.
  • Mapping the curriculum

Section 4 Facilitating learning

  • The teachers toolkit
  • The lectures and teaching with large groups
  • Learning in small groups.
  • Independent learning
  • Teaching and learning in the clinical context
  • Simulation of the clinical experience
  • E-learning
  • Peer teaching and collaborative learning.

Section 5 Assessing the progress of the learner

  • Six key questions to ask about assessment
  • Written and computer-based assessment
  • Clinical and performance-based assessment
  • Portfolio assessment
  • Assessment for admission to medicine and postgraduate training
  • Evaluating the curriculum

Section 6 Today’s teacher and tomorrow’s doctors

  • The Changing Role of the Teacher

Further reading

Appendices