Developing medical students as teachers: An anatomy-based student-as-teacher program with emphasis on core teaching competencies



Teaching is an increasingly recognized responsibility of the resident physician. Residents, however, often assume teaching responsibilities without adequate preparation. Consequently, many medical schools have implemented student-as-teacher (SAT) programs that provide near-peer teaching opportunities to senior medical students. Near-peer teaching is widely regarded as an effective teaching modality; however, whether near-peer teaching experiences in medical school prepare students for the teaching demands of residency is less understood. We explored whether the anatomy-based SAT program through the Human Structure didactic block at Mayo Medical School addressed the core teaching competencies of a medical educator and prepared its participants for further teaching roles in their medical careers. A web-based survey was sent to all teaching assistants in the anatomy-based SAT program over the past five years (2007–2011). Survey questions were constructed based on previously published competencies in seven teaching domains – course development, course organization, teaching execution, student coaching, student assessment, teacher evaluation, and scholarship. Results of the survey indicate that participants in the anatomy-based SAT program achieved core competencies of a medical educator and felt prepared for the teaching demands of residency. Anat Sci Educ 6: 385–392. © 2013 American Association of Anatomists.