Who teaches basic procedural skills: Student experience versus faculty opinion.
Learning procedural skills as a medical student has evolved, as task trainers and simulators are now ubiquitous. It is yet unclear whether they have supplanted bedside teaching or are adjuncts to it, and whether faculty or residents are responsible for student skills education in this era. In this study we sought to characterize the experience and opinions of both medical students and faculty on procedural skills training. Surveys were sent to clinical medical students and faculty at UNC Chapel Hill. Opinions on the ideal learning environment for basic procedural skills, as well as who serves as primary teacher, were gathered using a 4-point Likert scale. Responses were compared via Fisher exact test. A total of 237 students and 279 faculty responded. Third-year students were more likely to report simulation as the primary method of education (64%), compared to either fourth-year students (35%; P < 0.0001) or faculty (43%; P = 0.0018). Third- and fourth-year students were also more likely to report interns as a primary teacher (15% and 10%, respectively) as opposed to faculty (2%), and less likely to suggest faculty were the primary teacher (30% and 21%, respectively, versus 35%), P < 0.0001. Residents were the primary teachers for all three groups (55%, 70%, and 63% respectively). Our data suggest that both medical students and faculty recognize the utility of simulation in procedural skills training, but vary in the degree to which they think simulation is or should be the primary instructional tool. Both groups suggest residents are the primary teacher of these skills. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.