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An integrated 2-year clinical skills peer tutoring scheme in a UK-based medical school: perceptions of tutees and peer tutors

Authors Khalid H, Shahid S, Punjabi N, Sahdev N

Received 11 December 2017

Accepted for publication 27 February 2018

Published 8 June 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 423—432

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S159502

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Md Anwarul Majumder


Hesham Khalid,* Shiffa Shahid,* Nikita Punjabi,* Nikhil Sahdev*

Faculty of Medicine, St George’s Hospital Medical School, London, UK

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background:
Several benefits of peer tutoring in medical school teaching have been described. However, there is a lack of research on the perceptions of peer tutoring, particularly from tutees who partake in a long-term clinical skills scheme integrated into the medical school curriculum. This study evaluates the opinions of preclinical tutees at the end of a 2-year peer-tutored clinical skills program and peer tutors themselves.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in a UK-based medical school that primarily utilizes peer tutoring for clinical skills teaching. A questionnaire was designed to assess the views of preclinical tutees and peer tutors. Likert scales were used to grade responses and comment boxes to collect qualitative data.
Results: Sixty-five questionnaires were collected (52 tutees, 13 peer tutors). Seventy-nine percent of students felt satisfied with their teaching, and 70% felt adequately prepared for clinical placements. Furthermore, 79% believed that peer tutoring is the most effective method for clinical skills teaching. When compared to faculty teaching, tutees preferred being taught by peer tutors (63%), felt more confident (73%), and were more willing to engage (77%). All peer tutors felt that teaching made them more confident in their Objective Structured Clinical Examination performance, and 91% agreed that being a tutor made them consider pursuing teaching in the future. Thematic analysis of qualitative data identified 3 themes regarding peer tutoring: a more comfortable environment (69%), a more personalized teaching approach (34%), and variation in content taught (14%).
Conclusion: Preclinical tutees prefer being taught clinical skills by peer tutors compared to faculty, with the peer tutors also benefitting. Studies such as this, looking at long-term schemes, further validate peer tutoring and may encourage more medical schools to adopt this method as an effective way of clinical skills teaching.

Keywords:
peer-assisted, near-peer, teaching, learning, curriculum, OSCE
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