A registrar survival guide... Planning a teaching episode

Teaching forms a part of the GP curriculum and is a skill essential to GP registrars to promote learning in a complex medical world.

GP registrars may be involved with teaching first year medical students through to F1 doctors, which includes seminar-based, lecture-based and ward-based teaching.

Target audience
Ensure you know who your target audience is and try to gain some insight into its baseline knowledge as this may vary among medical students and nursing staff.

Choice of topic
Choose a topic you are comfortable with. Make sure you read any pre-teaching theory provided.

Ensure you clarify facts you may have forgotten or are unclear of before you start teaching. Ensure your references are reliable and be prepared for questions.

Teaching style
Teaching style varies between individuals and settings. Power-point presentations tend to be more suitable for larger audiences. Ward-based teaching will be with smaller groups and may involve patient contact. This is beneficial when trying to consolidate theoretical knowledge with clinical.

For group teaching use flip charts or white boards. Encourage discussion in the group and try and avoid dominating the seminar.

Certain seminars may require recording simulated consultations. Ensure you are familiar with this equipment to avoid any technical hiccups during the seminar.

If possible, ask for feedback from your audience by handing out feedback forms. This will be useful for both appraisal and personal reasons.

  • Contributed by Dr Pipin Singh, a GPST3 in Northumbria
Essentials checklist
  • An understanding of your target audience.
  • A sound knowledge of the topic.
  • Pre-teaching material (if provided)
  • Appropriate equipment and ability to use it.
  • Feedback forums.

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