The role of residents in medical students' neurology education: current status and future perspectives
Neurophobia, a well-described fear of neurology affects medical students worldwide and may be one of the factors contributing to a shortage of neurologists in the United States. Residents spend a considerable amount of time with medical students, therefore, we sought to better understand the impact neurology residents have on the medical students experience during their neurology clerkship and their subsequent interest in neurology. We aimed to identify and implement strategies to decrease
... es to decrease neurophobia and increase the number of students pursuing neurology as a career. Methods: Third-year medical students (n=234) of UTHealth's McGovern Medical School rotating through their neurology core clerkship completed two surveys regarding their rotation experiences. Surveys were completed anonymously before and after the clerkship to measure their interest and confidence in neurology and the impact of their interactions with the neurology residents during the clerkship. In parallel, residents participated in a teaching workshop focused on small group teaching to improve their teaching effectiveness. Non-parametrical comparison and ordinal regression analyses were utilized for data analyses. Results: Medical students reported a statistically significant increase in their confidence in managing neurological conditions and interest in pursuing a neurology residency after their clerkship. There was a significant association between the medical students' overall rotation experience and the residents' teaching effectiveness. Their overall clerkship experience correlated with their interest and confidence in neurology. There was a trend towards an increase in residents' teaching effectiveness and students' rotation experience after the resident workshop. Additionally, students who rotated in both and outpatient and inpatient site reported an increased interest in neurology. Conclusion: Our study supports that resident-led teaching efforts are important in improving medical students' neurologic education and their interest in neurology . We examined future strategies to implement "near-peer" teaching activities to enhance the medical students' neurologic educational experience. These strategies could potentially mitigate neurophobia and ultimately lead to a muchneeded increase in future neurologists.