Learning to Teach in Medical Education: A Critical Analysis of Team-Based Learning
At the start of their careers, physicians vow a commitment to teach their peers, trainees, and patients. However, the ubiquity of teaching in medical practice is not well reflected in the medical education curricular standards. Currently, medical students have few opportunities to engage with teaching experiences, and these are often limited to interested third or fourth year students. In this Capstone, I will focus on how the development of teaching can become more central to learning to be a physician for first year medical students at Vanderbilt. First year Vanderbilt students participate in many small group activities, during which they engage in multiple instances of informal peer teaching and learning. One such setting that is commonly used in medical school is team-based learning (TBL), a student-centered active group learning structure. Through a re-conception of what it means to be a teacher in medicine adapted from the teacher learning literature and redesign of TBL through approximation of practices and reflection, I suggest a new model for helping first year medical students develop their practice of teaching. In order to establish doctors as both providers and teachers of medicine, we must encourage significant modifications in medical education. We must focus on our medical student teacher development, providing guided and structured learning in a curriculum that spans all four years of medical school. Identifying opportunities for these changes within existing learning activities like TBL is the first step to building a robust and theory-driven curriculum for our budding physician-educators.