Impact of Instructional Practices on Student Satisfaction with Attendings' Teaching in the Inpatient Component of Internal Medicine Clerkships


  • Authors had no conflicts of interest.

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Objective: To determine the prevalence and influence of specific attending teaching practices on student evaluations of the quality of attendings' teaching in the inpatient component of Internal Medicine clerkships.

Design: Nationwide survey using a simple random sample.

Setting: One hundred and twenty-one allopathic 4-year medical schools in the United States.

Participants: A total of 2,250 fourth-year medical students.

Measurements and Main Results: In the spring of 2002, student satisfaction with the overall quality of teaching by attendings in the inpatient component of Internal Medicine clerkships was measured on a 5-point scale from very satisfied to very dissatisfied (survey response rate, 68.3%). Logistic regression was used to determine the association of specific teaching practices with student evaluations of the quality of their attendings' teaching. Attending physicians' teaching practices such as engaging students in substantive discussions (odds ratio (OR)=3.0), giving spontaneous talks and prepared presentations (OR=1.6 and 1.8), and seeing new patients with the team (OR=1.2) were strongly associated with higher student satisfaction, whereas seeming rushed and eager to finish rounds was associated with lower satisfaction (OR=0.6).

Conclusion: Findings suggest that student satisfaction with attendings' teaching is high overall but there is room for improvement. Specific teaching behaviors used by attendings affect student satisfaction. These specific behaviors could be taught and modified for use by attendings and clerkship directors to enhance student experiences during clerkships.