RESIDENTS AS TEACHERS
Ever since the Arnold B. Gold Award for Excellence in Teaching was created, a member of the Neurology Residency Program has won the award, by vote of the Medical Student class. Throughout their residency, Columbia's Neurology Residents participate as teachers, lecturers, and preceptors in multiple venues.
To help prepare them for their teaching role, residents are provided with formal conferences on teaching and evaluation, led by Clerkship Director, Dr. James Noble. The Medical Center also provides several educational resources for residents, including modules on how to give feedback, writing effective comments, teaching and assessing professionalism, and how to create an effective learning environment.
There is a large and varied breadth of teaching opportunities throughout the three years of training. Residents are instrumental to medical student education while on the inpatient ward, stroke, and consult services, where they guide and teach medical students as they begin their study of the field and in this capacity serve as team leaders in the clinical setting. From reviewing admission and progress notes to conducting spontaneous didactic sessions, the residents are involved in medical student teaching every step of the way. Residents often assist students in learning not only how to perform the more subtle aspects of the neurological exam, but also in how to approach a patient with a neurological problem. Medical students interact with residents in the outpatient setting as well in VC10 clinic, where a resident is often paired with a student. In this way, residents become not only teachers to their students, but often sources of inspiration in helping them decide the future of their careers.
Off the wards, there are several opportunities for further involvement in medical student teaching—this includes participation in classroom teaching of first and second year students of Columbia's College of Physicians & Surgeons, for example in teaching them how to conduct the neurological examination. In what is perhaps one of the most exciting days of anatomy class, the neurology residents are invited to assist and teach the students on the day they study the brain and begin their studies of neuroanatomy. They are also invited to participate in introductory interactive sessions to introduce the students to the examination of the cranial nerves. The residents are often invited to give lectures to the neurology clinical clerks on a basic topic of their choosing, as a part of their neurology curriculum.
However, teaching opportunities are not limited to that of medical students. As residents from other specialties often rotate through neurology, neurology residents help guide and teach them the basics of neurology and how to begin to think about a patient with a neurological problem. Neurology residents are involved in guiding and teaching residents from various other fields such as emergency medicine, medicine, anesthesiology, and psychiatry.