Date: February 6th, 2019

I had the pleasure of participating in Western University Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry Bootcamp. It is an annual two day event designed to teach residents how to be better teachers. Program Directors nominate exemplary residents with an interest in teaching. It is described as “an intensive 2-day program focusing on cross-disciplinary teaching skills including one-minute preceptors, giving and receiving feedback, orienting clerks, case-based teaching, and managing the difficult learner.”

This year I gave two presentations. The first one was a small-group session on how to teach at the bedside. We discussed five different questions about teaching in this clinical environment.

  1. How does planned bedside teaching differ from rounds?
  2. How do you/did you feel about bedside teaching?
  3. How do patients feel about bedside teaching?
  4. What are potential barriers to bedside teaching?
  5. When is it not appropriate?

After the philosophical talk, we did two role playing sessions. Each session had a standardized patient played by medical student Ms. Julie Graham. A resident played the clinical clerk being taught, a second resident played the attending physician and a third resident demonstrated how to talk to a patient while still teaching. This was a very good exercise and demonstrated of some outstanding bedside teaching skills.

The second presentation was a talk on teaching evidence based medicine to other residents and clinical clerks (medical students). We covered five basic training components for teaching clerks and five basic training points of evidence-based medicine. You can download a PDF copy of my slides using this link.

The five basic training components for teaching clerks were to: have a conducive and stimulating learning environment, get the learners involved, respect the learner, recognize limitations and encourage skepticism.

The five basic training points of evidence-based medicine (EBM) were to: Define EBM, use P.I.C.O. to formulate your clinical question, search for the BEST evidence, critically APPRAISE the evidence and decide how to apply the evidence with Shared Decision Making (SDM).

As an experiment, we did a cooking show to demonstrate how to critically appraisal a randomized control trial.  This was a lot of fun describing the different quality ingredients that need to go into making a good study. We used a yummy apple pie as an example. This was compared the the bad tasting ingredients (poor methods) that could turn an apple pie into a cow pie. After both pies were created, the audience was asked which pie they would prefer, apple pie or cow pie.

The conclusion was that we should try to have a NNT (Number Needed to Teach) of one: to help one clerk in their medical education. The ultimate goal is for patients to get the best care based on the best evidence and cut the knowledge translation window down from over ten years to less than one year.

Links to Information Used in the EBM Presention:

Thank you to Joan Binnendyk and Dr. Chris Watling from the Postgraduate Medical Education office at Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry for inviting me to participate in the resident Boot Camp.

Remember to be skeptical of anything you learn, even if you heard it on the Skeptics’ Guide to Emergency Medicine.