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Teaching In Medicine


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Teaching has been on the back of my mind, definitely as something to transition to down the line when i`m older and looking to diversify things.

The question is, how does a clinician (say a family medicine practitioner or general internist), transition into teaching at a medical school? Do you need to have some form of extra MEd background or research background to be able to teach? 

 

i understand preceptor-ship opportunities and the likes, but moving into a teaching/academic role - if you never did a formal education background or masters/phd in a research field that makes you an 'expert" -say for topics like the basic sciences.

Any thoughts from those more informed?

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Teaching has been on the back of my mind, definitely as something to transition to down the line when i`m older and looking to diversify things.

 

The question is, how does a clinician (say a family medicine practitioner or general internist), transition into teaching at a medical school? Do you need to have some form of extra MEd background or research background to be able to teach? 

 

i understand preceptor-ship opportunities and the likes, but moving into a teaching/academic role - if you never did a formal education background or masters/phd in a research field that makes you an 'expert" -say for topics like the basic sciences.

 

Any thoughts from those more informed?

 

they are always looking for teachers really - you just put your name in the hat as it were. You don't need extra training (not that it hurts).

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I heard that expression from my GP, he said in his experience UBC is always asking for preceptors and such - but what about the basic sciences? is it more common that it would be people who do research in those areas or have masters/phds?

 

well you don't often teach basic science to medical students (I mean you do have some lectures, but it is clinical focus after all as it should be).

 

I would say there is a bias towards those with research in that area to teach in those fields if for no other reason than it is very competitive and there are a lot of people trying to get those positions.

 

still like anything if you keep at it you will eventually break in.

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they are always looking for teachers really - you just put your name in the hat as it were. You don't need extra training (not that it hurts).

Depends on where you are and your field. Here in The Centre of The Universe, if you want to be on the "clinician teacher" pathway you really ought to have an M.Ed (preferablyfrom OISE) in order to smooth the path to appointment, at least in the department of medicine. It's ridiculous, and as far as I know this is the only centre with such silly stipulationd, but it's good to know the rules before you start to play the game...

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Depends on where you are and your field. Here in The Centre of The Universe, if you want to be on the "clinician teacher" pathway you really ought to have an M.Ed (preferablyfrom OISE) in order to smooth the path to appointment, at least in the department of medicine. It's ridiculous, and as far as I know this is the only centre with such silly stipulationd, but it's good to know the rules before you start to play the game...

good things I am getting an MEd then. Kind of dumb you actually require it though - the title Doctor is derived from the latin for teacher for crying out loud. The literal translation for us is "Teacher" (insert name) while at work.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Depends on where you are and your field. Here in The Centre of The Universe, if you want to be on the "clinician teacher" pathway you really ought to have an M.Ed (preferablyfrom OISE) in order to smooth the path to appointment, at least in the department of medicine. It's ridiculous, and as far as I know this is the only centre with such silly stipulationd, but it's good to know the rules before you start to play the game...

 

I think it's more than ought to have - more or less required.  You also aren't "hired" immediately with your credentials, you still have to pass a 3 year review.

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I think it's more than ought to have - more or less required.  You also aren't "hired" immediately with your credentials, you still have to pass a 3 year review.

 

I know of people who started on the clinician teacher pathway without an M.Ed in the late Levinsonian era, but they're being forced to take the "stepping stones" or "master teacher" or whatever courses to compensate for not having that ticket.   I think the new boss is the same as the old boss in this respect, for now.  I agree that some day soon an M.Ed will be the ante.

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Maybe I'm "outing" myself here, but I'm a MEd person and I'm bias... But I feel strongly on this one.


 


There are a lot of MD's that couldn't teach if their lives depended on it.  That's somewhat expected considering our training. Being a physician does not make a great clinical instructor. That's just the reality. Then sadly some of the best clinicians either don't know how to teach, don't want to teach, or don't realize they can teach. This certainly is not everyone, you have "natural teachers" out there for sure, but most people are not so talented. I'm certainly not.


 


The trend of more MD's getting some formal education training is a good thing. It's not for everyone, but if you want to make clinical education a significant element of your career emphasizing some real proven education theory, knowledge, and application is to every medical learner's benefit. It is also to your own, because you will probably be more effective in that part of your career. 


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Maybe I'm "outing" myself here, but I'm a MEd person and I'm bias... But I feel strongly on this one.

 

There are a lot of MD's that couldn't teach if their lives depended on it.  That's somewhat expected considering our training. Being a physician does not make a great clinical instructor. That's just the reality. Then sadly some of the best clinicians either don't know how to teach, don't want to teach, or don't realize they can teach. This certainly is not everyone, you have "natural teachers" out there for sure, but most people are not so talented. I'm certainly not.

 

The trend of more MD's getting some formal education training is a good thing. It's not for everyone, but if you want to make clinical education a significant element of your career emphasizing some real proven education theory, knowledge, and application is to every medical learner's benefit. It is also to your own, because you will probably be more effective in that part of your career. 

 

 

I agree with you - but as another MEd to be (ok, well I am only a few courses in :) ) how much do you think the MEd actually is going help with the teaching ability? There is a chunk of the course related to research, and some more related to pretty specific aspects of teaching theory etc, etc. I want to know that theory - icing on the cake, but so far I question if it is actually going to help me when I am in front of a class etc.

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I agree with you - but as another MEd to be (ok, well I am only a few courses in :) ) how much do you think the MEd actually is going help with the teaching ability? There is a chunk of the course related to research, and some more related to pretty specific aspects of teaching theory etc, etc. I want to know that theory - icing on the cake, but so far I question if it is actually going to help me when I am in front of a class etc.

This, I was talking a friend last night who is also completing her MEd and she brought up the same points. I'm assuming of the people who want to teach- that many have prior teaching experience? I.e. TAs, junior instructors, private tutors etc, so maybe it is just self selection. That they would have been decent teachers without the MEd in the first place maybe...

 

So are you two getting your MEd in parallel with your royal college residencies or adding extra time to your length of training?

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This, I was talking a friend last night who is also completing her MEd and she brought up the same points. I'm assuming of the people who want to teach- that many have prior teaching experience? I.e. TAs, junior instructors, private tutors etc, so maybe it is just self selection. That they would have been decent teachers without the MEd in the first place maybe...

 

So are you two getting your MEd in parallel with your royal college residencies or adding extra time to your length of training?

 

same time, doing both concurrently. Not sure how that is going to work out though of course (radiology is a rather study heavy field already) - for now I charge ahead :)

 

I think more than anything the degree simply tells people that yeah, this person likes and wants to teach, rather than actually improving their abilities dramatically.  Oh it will actually let me understand educational research though as well.

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how much do you think the MEd actually is going help with the teaching ability? There is a chunk of the course related to research, and some more related to pretty specific aspects of teaching theory etc, etc. I want to know that theory - icing on the cake, but so far I question if it is actually going to help me when I am in front of a class etc.

 

This is a very good point, and one of the reasons that some people (like me) roll their eyes a bit at creeping credentialism (no offense intended to anybody posting in this thread).

 

I know several people who went through oise, and some of their kinder comments were that it was "theoretical wankery".   They were already pretty good at teaching just because of their personalities and the people that they are, but they did it to get their ticket punched. 

 

There are online MEds that sound pretty flexible and can be done during residency without too many disruptions (eg. U. Edinburgh).  If you're in a residency with lots of contiguous elective time, you can do it in a physical classroom then.  Or sometimes, if you promise cross-your-heart-hope-to-die that you'll complete your MEd before your three-year-review, you can get hired on as staff and do it after residency.  Depends on the circumstances.

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How well are clinical instructors compensated for their time spent teaching, compared if they spent that time actually practicing medicine?

 

horribly :)

 

You don't really get paid for it at all, you just credit for doing it against what ever policies the practise has. For many doctors teaching just directly cuts down on the earnings.

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