Physician-teacher characteristics associated with learner-centered teaching skills

Elizabeth P. Menachery, Scott M. Wright, Eric E. Howell, Amy M. Knight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Academic institutions do not have a way to identify physician-teachers who are proficient in learner-centered teaching.Aim: To identify physician characteristics associated with being highly learner-centered. Methods: A cohort of 363 physicians was surveyed. Measured items included personal characteristics, professional characteristics, teaching activities, self-assessed teaching proficiencies and behaviors, and scholarly activities. A learner-centeredness scale was developed using factor analysis. Logistic regression models were used to determine which characteristics were independently associated with scoring highly on the learner-centeredness scale. Results: Two hundred and ninety-nine physicians responded (82%) of whom 262 (88%) had taught medical learners in the prior 12 months. Six variables combined to form the learner-centeredness scale and the Cronbach Alpha of the scale was 0.73. The eight characteristics independently associated with high learner-centered scores for physician teachers were (i) proficiency in giving lectures or presentations (OR = 5.1, 95% CI: 1.3-19.6), (ii) frequently helping learners identify resources to meet their own needs (OR = 3.7, 95% CI: 1.3-10.3), (iii) proficiency in eliciting feedback from learners (OR = 3.7, 95% CI: 1.7-8.5), (iv) frequently attempting to detect and discuss emotional responses of the learners (OR = 2.9, 95% CI: 1.2-6.9), (v) frequently reflecting on the validity of feedback from the learners (OR = 2.8, 95% CI: 1.1-7.4), (vi) frequently identifying available resources to meet the teacher's learning needs (OR = 2.8, 95% CI: 1.1-7.2), (vii) having given an oral presentation related to education at a national/regional meeting (OR = 2.6, 95% CI: 1.1-6.0), and (viii) frequently letting learners know how different situations affect the teacher (OR = 2.5, 95% CI: 1.1-5.5). Conclusions: The clinical competence and professional growth of medical learners can be most effectively facilitated by learner-centered educational methods. It may now be possible to identify medical educators who are more learner-centered in their teaching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e137-e144
JournalMedical teacher
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 21 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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