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BACKGROUND: Peer-assisted learning has advantages for students and tutors. AIMS: We aimed to establish a novel 'near-peer' teaching scheme delivered by junior doctors for final-year medical students in Southeast Scotland. We report feedback from students regarding the perceived utility of this scheme, the results of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of its impact, and mechanisms for quality assurance and sustainability. METHODS: The scheme was devised by newly qualified doctors. Following open recruitment and tutor training, junior doctor-led sessions were provided on clinical examination and practical prescribing in 2006-2008. Feedback was sought using anonymized questionnaires. An RCT was performed to assess the effect of attendance at a prescribing tutorial on performance in a mock assessment. RESULTS: Of 271 students in 2006-2007, 234 (86%) completed voluntary feedback and 233 (99%) expressed interest in attending more tutorials. In the RCT, students who received a tutorial made fewer dosing errors (9 vs. 22, p = 0.049). The majority of tutors attending the training symposium felt the experience was useful and helped prepare them for teaching. CONCLUSION: 'Near-peer' teaching is a popular adjunct to the undergraduate programme and may promote junior doctors' professional development. Such schemes can be devised and delivered by juniors in conjunction with university staff.

Original publication




Journal article


Med teach

Publication Date





e51 - e57


Clinical Competence, Curriculum, Feasibility Studies, Humans, Medical Staff, Hospital, Peer Group, Pilot Projects, Program Evaluation, Scotland, Surveys and Questionnaires, Teaching