An Irish Experience in Establishing and Evaluating an Intern Led Teaching Programme.
Near-Peer Teaching is a relatively new and expanding area of medical education. The benefit to medical students has been demonstrated in numerous contexts around the world. Our aim was to establish a structured Intern-Led Teaching (ILT) programme in the context of an Irish Intern Training Network affiliated to an Irish Medical School. We then sought to evaluate the success of this programme. Seventy interns were enrolled in the ILT programme and completed a Train the Trainer course involving teaching methods and skills of effective feedback. Following this, the intern tutors delivered several one-hour teaching sessions in small groups to final year medical students on a weekly basis. At the end of each teaching block, a feedback questionnaire was distributed to participating students to evaluate their experiences of this new teaching modality. Tutorial topics were varied. They included clinical examination, history taking, prescribing, and emergencies. Eighty-one percent of students found the intern-led tutorials to be beneficial compared to tutorials run by more senior doctors. Additionally, students felt that with intern led tutorials they could ask questions they otherwise would not. There was a more comfortable environment, and information taught was considered more relevant. A significant number of students felt less nervous about the final medical examinations after the intern-led tutorials. The establishment of a structured intern-led teaching programme was well received by final year medical students. This project shows that interns are a valuable teaching resource in the medical school and should be included in medical schools’ curricula.