Measuring the Competence of Residents as Teachers


  • Sondra Zabar MD,

    Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
  • Kathleen Hanley MD,

  • David L. Stevens MD,

  • Adina Kalet MD,

  • Mark D. Schwartz MD,

  • Ellen Pearlman MD,

  • Judy Brenner MD,

  • Elizabeth K. Kachur PhD,

  • Mack Lipkin MD

  • Received from the Division of Primary Care Internal Medicine (SZ, KH, DLS, AK, MDS, EP, ML) and Department of Medicine (JB), New York University School of Medicine; and Medical Education Development (EKK), New York, NY.

  • Presented in part at the annual meeting of the Society of General Internal Medicine, May 2, 2003.

Address correspondence and requests for reprints to Dr. Zabar: 550 First Avenue, Old Bellevue, D401B, New York, NY 10016 (e-mail:


Medical residents, frontline clinical educators, must be competent teachers. Typically, resident teaching competence is not assessed through any other means than gleaning learner's comments. We developed, evaluated, and integrated into our annual objective structured clinical examination a resident teaching skills assessment using “standardized” students. Faculty observers rated residents using a customized 19-item rating instrument developed to assess teaching competencies that were identified and defined as part of our project. This was feasible, acceptable, and valuable to all 65 residents, 8 students, and 16 faculty who participated. Teaching scenarios have potential as reliable, valid, and practical measures of resident teaching skills.