The Southeast Scotland Foundation Doctor Teaching Programme--is "near-peer" teaching feasible, efficacious and sustainable on a regional scale?
Rodrigues J., Sengupta A., Mitchell A., Kane C., Kane C., Maxwell S., Cameron H., Ross M., Ford M.
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.