Medical student evaluation of the quality of hospitalist and nonhospitalist teaching faculty on inpatient medicine rotations

Alan J Hunter, Sima S Desai, Rebecca A Harrison, Benjamin K S Chan
Academic Medicine 2004, 79 (1): 78-82

PURPOSE: To evaluate the impact of academic hospitalists on third-year medical students during inpatient medicine rotations.

METHOD: The authors conducted a retrospective quantitative assessment of medical student evaluations of hospitalist and nonhospitalist Department of Medicine faculty at Oregon Health & Science University, for the 1998-00 academic years. Using a nine-point Likert-type scale, students evaluated the faculty on the following characteristics: communication of rotation goals, establishing a favorable learning climate, use of educational time, teaching style, evaluation and feedback, contributions to the student's growth and development, and overall effectiveness as a clinical teacher.

RESULTS: A total of 138 students rotated on the university wards during the study period; 100 with hospitalists, and 38 with nonhospitalists. Of these students, 99 (71.7%) returned evaluations. The hospitalists received higher numeric evaluations for all individual attending characteristics. Significance was achieved comparing communication of goals (p =.011), effectiveness as a clinical teacher (p =.016), and for the combined analysis of all parameters (p <.001). Despite lack of achieving statistical significance, there was a trend toward hospitalists being more likely to contribute to the medical student's perception of growth and development during the period evaluated (p =.065).

CONCLUSIONS: In addition to performing the responsibilities required of full-time hospital-based physicians, hospitalists were able to provide at least as positive an educational experience as did highly rated nonhospitalist teaching faculty and in some areas performed better. A hospitalist model can be an effective method of delivering inpatient education to medical students.

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