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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Impact of a Dedicated Teaching Attending Experience on a Required Emergency Medicine Clerkship


Introduction: One published strategy for improving educational experiences for medical students in the emergency department (ED) while maintaining patient care has been the implementation of dedicated teaching attending shifts. To leverage the advantages of the ED as an exceptional clinical educational environment and to address the challenges posed by the rapid pace and high volume of the ED, our institution developed a clerkship curriculum that incorporates a dedicated clinical educator role – the teaching attending – to deliver quality bedside teaching experiences for students in a required third-year clerkship. The purpose of this educational innovation was to determine whether a dedicated teaching attending experience on a third-year required emergency medicine (EM) clerkship would improve student-reported clinical teaching evaluations and student-reported satisfaction with the overall quality of the EM clerkship.

Methods: Using a five-point Likert-type scale (1 - poor to 5 - excellent), student-reported evaluation ratings and the numbers of graduating students matching into EM were trended for 10 years retrospectively from the inception of the clerkship for the graduating class of 2009 through and including the graduating class of 2019. We used multinomial logistic regression to evaluate whether the presence of a teaching attending during the EM clerkship improved student-reported evaluation ratings for the EM clerkship. We used sample proportion tests to assess the differences between top-box (4 or 5 rating) proportions between years when the teaching attending experience was present and when it was not. Results: For clinical teaching quality, when the teaching attending is present the estimated odds of receiving a rating of 5 is 77.2 times greater (p <0.001) than when the teaching attending is not present and a rating of 4 is 27.5 times greater (p =0.0017). For overall clerkship quality, when the teaching attending is present, the estimated odds of receiving a rating of 5 is 13 times greater (p <0.001) and a rating of 4 is 5.2 times greater (p=0.0086) than when the teaching attending is not present.

Conclusion: The use of a dedicated teaching attending shift is a successful educational innovation for improving student self-reported evaluation items in a third-year required EM clerkship.

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