Implementing peer tutoring in a graduate medical education programme

Salerno-Kennedy, R., Henn, P. and O'Flynn, S. (2010) Implementing peer tutoring in a graduate medical education programme. Clinical Teacher, 7 (2). pp. 83-89. ISSN 17434971 (ISSN)


Background: In modern times, peer tutoring methods have been explored in health care education for over 30 years. In this paper, we report our experience of implementing a peer-tutoring approach to Clinical Skills Laboratory (CSL) training in the Graduate Entry in Medicine Programme (GEM) at University College Cork. Methods: Eighteen fourth-year medical students were recruited as peer tutors for CSL sessions on physical examination. In order to standardise the process, we developed a training course for peer tutors that comprised two stages. They then ran the practical sessions with junior students, under the watchful eye of medical educators. At the end of the last CSL session, the students were given 10 minutes to reflect individually on the experience, and were asked to complete a feedback form. Results: Twenty-four of the 42 GEM students and six of the seven Senior Tutors (STs) completed and returned their feedback forms. With the caveats of small sample sizes and low response rates, both groups reported that they had both positive and negative experiences of peer tutoring, but that the positive experiences predominated. Conclusion: The overall experience was positive. In terms of the primary thesis of this study, the STs thought that they were well prepared by the teaching staff to take part in these teaching sessions. © Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2010.

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