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Residents teaching medical students: how do they compare with attending educators?



Educating medical students is a core mission of academic radiology departments. In some programs, residents participate in student teaching. The aim of this study was to retrospectively compare medical student evaluations of radiology resident lectures with lecture evaluations of radiology faculty members.


Numeric evaluations for lectures given by faculty members, fellows, and residents were collected over a 1-year period as part of routine course evaluations for a fourth-year medical student radiology elective. Faculty member, fellow, and resident lecture scores were compared, overall using analysis of variance and pairwise using Student's t test. A predefined low P-value threshold was used for the t tests to account for the multiple comparisons. To account for the inherent clustering of the data due to repeat lecturers, the data were reanalyzed on a "per lecturer" basis.


Three hundred seven individual lecture scores were collected. There was no statistical difference between the lecture scores received by attending faculty members (mean, 9.10 on a scale of 10) and residents (mean, 8.99) (P = .08). Fellows, however, scored statistically significantly lower (mean, 8.45) than attending faculty members and residents (P <.001 for both comparisons). The per lecturer analysis yielded similar results.


Lectures delivered by residents received similar evaluations as lectures delivered by faculty members. Given that teaching can be an educational experience for residents, involving radiology residents in medical student teaching may benefit students and residents alike.

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