Students and Faculty Perspective of a Good Medical Teacher in the Asian Context

Author(s): Siew Kheong Lum, Ismail AS Burud, Rajendra Shirahatti, Ankur Barua

Objective: To determine the relative importance of the twelve roles of a teacher in defining a good medical teacher in the Asian context.

Material and methods: This is a cross sectional, descriptive study using the questionnaire validated by Harden and Crosby. The 470 subjects comprise 369 preclinical and clinical medical students and 101 faculty members of the International Medical University, Malaysia. They were asked to choose, in order of importance, the three most important roles of a medical teacher from the twelve roles identified by Harden and Crosby. Their responses were rated on a Likert scale of 1-5 points and the data analyzed using SPSS version 21.0 using the Mann Whitney U-test.

Results: The teacher as an information provider was rated the first choice by 49.5% of faculty and 68.0% of students. The teacher as a role model was rated the second choice by 39.7% of faculty and 12.2% of students. These two roles together accounted for 82.2% of the preference of faculty and students. The other roles of the teacher as facilitator, assessor, planner and resource developer had low scores. Collectively, these 4 roles had faculty and student scores of only 10.9% and 19.6% respectively. Both the faculty (36.6%) and students (34.1%) rated their clinical teachers highly.

Conclusion: In an Asian society, the teacher is still highly valued as an information provider and a role model. Clinical teachers who are knowledgeable and good role models are highly rated by both faculty and students. Universities would be prudent to attract and retain such teachers with incentives.

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