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Kelly W. Burak, MD, FRCPC, MSc (Epid)

Submitted by gtadmin on Tue, 2008/03/25 - 5:52pm.

Teaching Awards

Great teachers communicate effectively with students. How do you ensure that content is presented and communicated clearly?

To effectively communicate the complexities of chronic liver disease to 150 medical students, I find it is useful to present the material in many different formats. Firstly, the students are presented with a Core Document, which clearly provides them the Learning Objectives and a “Coles Notes” synopsis of the most important teaching points. Teaching the clinical presentations of “Jaundice” and “Approach to Liver Tests” are facilitated by frequently referring to the same Scheme (a clinical decision algorithm) over and over again…repetition is always a good thing. Material introduced in lecture is further consolidated a few days later in small group sessions (10-15 students). However, the most important way to give the concepts “real meaning” is through early exposure to patients. This is done with bedside teaching and by bringing in real patients to speak to the class about their experiences living with liver disease.

To be a “Great Teacher” it is important to remember that “actions speak louder than words”. Students often remember the delivery of message more than the message itself. My lectures are always relaxed, with lots of time for interaction and a healthy dose of humour. However, if you are organized and you make the classroom fun and entertaining, you will be pleasantly surprised by how much of your message is retained.