Background: Third year medical students (MS3s) have not regarded the Pediatrics Clerkship at our institution with as high praise as other clerkships. Students cite a relative lack of teaching on the floors from pediatric residents as a key etiology. Interestingly, said residents endorse a desire to teach more. The most common barriers cited are time, easy access to high quality resources, and confidence.

Purpose: We sought to increase the frequency and time spent on resident teaching by creating an app with quick teaching scripts of common general pediatric topics. In doing so, we aim to enhance the MS3 Pediatric Clerkship experience.

Description: Pre-intervention: Between 2017 and 2018, we asked MS3s to rank their six core clerkships based on quality of resident teaching from 1 (lowest) to 6 (highest). Pediatric residents received an average rating of 1.43 (n = 51). Simultaneously, residents were queried on their baseline teaching of MS3s (n = 44). 25% reported teaching daily while on the floors, 41% several times per week, and the remainder less often. Of this teaching, 75% spent less than five minutes doing so.
Intervention: To address the MS3s’ concern regarding lack of resident teaching, as well as the barriers perceived by residents, we created teaching scripts of high yield pediatric topics. We utilized a healthcare app, Dorsata, as a platform for efficient resident access. Scripts utilized three different educational methods, including a Socratic question-and-answer format. For twelve months, each resident starting a four-week rotation with MS3s was provided with an overview of the app’s new resources. At the rotation’s conclusion, resident teaching of students was reassessed by resident survey.

Outcomes: Post-intervention, 55% of residents (n = 49) taught one to two times per day on average (Figure 1). 50% spent 5-10 minutes per teaching session, with 34% consisting of several minutes. After implementation for one year, MS3s’ average rating of pediatric residents improved to 2.37 (n = 41; Figure 2).

Conclusions: When provided with easily accessible teaching scripts on smartphones, residents confidently initiate teaching of medical students more often and spend more time doing so. Though there were other alterations to the Pediatrics Clerkship during our study, we believe our resources significantly improved resident teaching ability and MS3 education, thereby contributing to the improved Clerkship rating. A similar project and methodology could be applied and be effective in other medical specialties.

IMAGE 1: Figure 1: Frequency of Resident-Led Teaching of MS3s Before and After Introduction of Smartphone-Based Teaching App

IMAGE 2: Figure 2: Ranking of the Quality of Pediatric Resident Teaching Relative to Other MS3 Core-Clerkship Specialties Before and After Introduction of Smartphone-Based Teaching App. Pediatrics received an average rating of 1.43 (n = 51) at baseline, with an improvement to 2.37 (n = 41) one year after app implementation.