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Essential Skills for a Medical Teacher


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Table of Contents

* Section 1: The roles and competences of a 'good' teacher * Section 2: Learning outcomes and outcome-based education * Section 3: Organising the learning programme * Section 4: The teacher's toolkit * Section 5: Assessing the progress of the learner * Further reading * Appendices

About the Author

Professor Ronald M Harden is recognised as a leading international expert in medical education with experience as a teacher, curriculum developer, and teaching dean of a medical school. He is currently General Secretary of AMEE, an International Association for Medical Education.


In this book, the authors serve as readers' personal faculty development coaches. They provide a concise summary of the most important points a teacher must consider when engaging with learners and provide practical examples from their own personal and professional lives that add interest. The topics are relevant for all medical educators and are wonderfully integrated throughout the various sections and chapters of this faculty development resource. Although appropriate for any medical educator, this book is perhaps particularly valuable for those who are new to medical education or are working to improve their curricula and approaches to learning and assessment. Reviewed by Amy L. Wilson-Delfosse, PhD (Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine), Doody's Score: 95, 4 Stars!

Essential Skills for a Medical Teacher provides a concise introduction to the field of medical education and is a practical guide underpinned by educational models and theory which are introduced alongside each section. The book covers what constitutes a 'good' medical teacher, outcome-based education, organizing a learning programme, and methods of teaching and assessment in medical education.

The overarching feel of the book is that it offers a sensible hands-on manual supported with an evidence base. It is not packed full of jargon and educational concepts are described simply. It is clear and concise throughout and it is easy to see how the authors' tips, which ooze experience, could be translated into practice.

A whistle-stop tour of each topic is provided, giving adequate information in most places for the novice. At some points there is a feeling of a need for slightly more information but instead of clogging this introductory book, at all points the authors direct the reader to other resources. Each chapter ends with a reflection section which encourages the reader to actively reflect on his/her own practice as a teacher and this can be used as a powerful self-evaluation resource.

The book is perfectly suited to those just getting involved in medical education at more than just a basic level and would complement those beginning to undertake study in this field, such as a postgraduate certificate in medical education. I will certainly be using it when I begin mine.

British Journal of Hospital Medicine, October 2012, Vol 73, No 10 I am pleased to be able to review the book, Essential Skills for a Medical Teacher: An Introduction to Teaching and Learning in Medicine. It was a very enjoyable and informative reading adventure. The book is introduced with the basic premise that teaching is ''a craft and a science, '' and that through gaining a deeper understanding of their ''work'' all teachers can improve ''from poor to good'' or from ''good to excellent'' (page xix). With this in mind, I read the book with three sets of eyes: those of the novice or new instructor; of the clinician with some teaching experience, but little formal training in teaching; and, finally, with the eyes of an experienced instructor with training in medical education, the proficient or expert educator. In summary I felt that, Essential Skills for a Medical Teacher: An Introduction to Teaching and Learning in Medicine fulfills its mission to provide an excellent introduction as a well as a resource for advanced study. Harden and Laidlaw provide a common language and set of principles that should be as useful within chiropractic education as it is for education in other health professions. Read it to expand your own skills or, even better, read it with your colleagues to magnify the positive impact on chiropractic education. Extract from review in J Chiropr Educ 2013 Vol. 27 No. 1 I would definitely recommend this book, especially to any people just setting out in medical education. The book's strengths are that it is an excellent first book for medical education. It is easy-to-read and to find the right areas within it, in fact it is easier to look in this book and find a subject area and then look up the listed 'further reading' suggestions than it is to look in more comprehensive texts. This book covers all the basic requirements of an educator setting out and has lots of ideas and tips to ensure the educator will succeed. The book is small and illustrated and therefore not daunting to dip into. It does not cover all the principles and theories of education, but it is so well-written that I wished that it did cover these as well, rather than having to read about these in more complex books! I found it really helped with my understanding of the subject and certainly clarified some areas that had been nebulous for years. BMA Book Awards Highly Commended citation: 2013

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