Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Internal Medicine Fellows’ retreat focuses on essential teaching skills

Essential teaching skills for Internal Medicine Fellows were the focus of attention at a special workshop retreat initiated by Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar and Hamad Medical Corporation on April 2 and June 5.

General Internal Medicine Fellowship director at HMC, Dr. Abdul-Nasser Elzouki identified a need to advance the teaching skills of the General Internal Medicine fellows with the goal of actively incorporating them into various teaching activities both in the undergraduate and the graduate medical education stature and approached WCMC-Q for collaboration.

Thirteen fellows, mostly from the Division of General Internal Medicine, participated. WCMC-Q Assistant Professor of Medicine and Assistant Dean for Graduate Medical Education Dr. Dora Stadler led the organization of the retreat.

The organizing committee included Dr. Abdul-Nasser Elzouki, Dr. Dora Stadler, Dr. Mai Mahmoud, Dr. Mamoon El-Bedawi, Dr. Thurayya Arayssi and Ms. Deema Al-Sheikhly

“This was a great initial opportunity to focus on training the next generation of academic clinicians,” Dr. Stadler said.

Clinicians and academics with expertise in teaching carried out the workshops. It brought together several departments including the departments of Graduate Medical Education and Medical Education at WCMC-Q, and the Division of General Internal Medicine at HMC. 

Entitled Essential Teaching Skills, the retreat addressed some of the most common/practical themes in medical education such as an overview of adult learning theory, creating a successful learning climate, characteristics of effective teaching and effective teachers as well as multiple sessions on giving feedback.  The experiences were interactive, hands-on and included activities such as role-play and critique of videotaped teaching sessions.

Evaluation from the fellows was highly positive. Dr. Shireen Suliman, one of the general internal fellows had the opportunity to put her learning into practice almost immediately by teaching the residents.

 “I loved the practical session. We are used to learning theory and less practice but the retreat was different,” Dr. Suliman said. “The week following the retreat, I presented the management of sodium disorders. I made it in the form of a workshop and applied the steps from the retreat and received great feedback on my teaching skills.”

Dr. Elzouki also stressed the importance of emphasis on teaching and feedback skills. “I do recommend it for all young clinicians/fellows who want to start their careers in teaching medicine,” he said.

The goal is to expand the current workshop into a continuous curriculum and to develop a teaching elective for the general internal medicine fellows during which they have dedicated time to further cement and reflect on their teaching skills in preparation for their future as academic clinicians.

This retreat was another successful collaborative activity between WCMC-Q and HMC that has resulted in several oral and poster presentations at international conferences and a publication under review.

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