Teaching by Residents

Teaching is a wonderful way to learn. In order to teach students, residents must first have knowledge that is accurate and usefully organized. Teaching responsibilities are integrated into our residency program. The University of Florida College of Medicine has developed a Resident as Teacher program to instruct residents in teaching techniques and our neurology residents fully participate in the basic program and have opportunities to go on to an advanced level of instruction.

Teaching medical students: The neurology curriculum for UF medical students is integrated over the first three years, beginning with Neuroscience and concluding with a three-week neurology clerkship. In between, students have a 10-lecture course, Introduction to Clinical Neurology. Neurology residents have the opportunity to teach students at each of these stages: when residents are assisting in the Neuroscience course for first year students, they will also be asked to assist in teaching the neurological examination to second year students. The residents’ role is particularly important during the in-patient phase of the clerkship. We expect all students to learn how to recognize, examine, assess and treat patients neurological disorders of high prevalence (such as stroke, headache, dementia, dizziness, seizures, back pain and common neuromuscular disorders), and how to recognize and manage (or refer) patients with neurological emergencies. When residents teach Neuroscience, they will be expected to read and understand the excellent book (written by UF faculty) that forms the basis of this course.

When residents are on the wards with students, they should take the opportunity to teach students whenever there is time, including teaching them to write progress notes and orders. Residents should help students work up selected patients and should prepare students to present to the attending physician. When residents are on weekend call, a student will be assigned to shadow. It is the residents’ responsibility to evaluate each student at the end of the rotation. Students routinely evaluate resident teaching, and the Neurology resident who achieves the best overall assessment from students during the year will receive an award (a plaque) at the annual end-of-year department party.

Teaching Residents: Neurology residents also have the opportunity to teach residents from other services who rotate on the Neurology service. Residents from Medicine, Psychiatry, Neurosurgery, Internal Medicine, and Family Medicine rotate on the Neurology service and interaction with these residents is mutually beneficial. Finally, senior neurology residents will be mentors to incoming neurology residents, and neurology residents in general should take every opportunity to help their fellow residents learn.

Teaching other health professionals: Neurology residents have traditionally taught neurology to Physical Therapy and Physician’s Assistant students.