Essential teaching skills
Once doctors were simply expected to “see one, do one, teach one,” but teaching doesn't come naturally to everyone. Catherine Gray and Patsy Stark explain how to do it better
We all know that a good teacher can inform and inspire even the most unenthusiastic of learners, just as a bad one can put you off the subject for life. Given that the word “doctor” comes from the Latin docere, meaning “to teach,” a doctor equipped with the skills to be a good teacher is often a surprisingly rare find.
Medical students learning skills for teaching is not a new concept to medical education in the United Kingdom. It is specified repeatedly in the General Medical Council's Tomorrow's Doctors, first released in 1993, that all medical undergraduates should possess the skills required to teach medical students and colleagues by the time they graduate.1 This requirement continues throughout your career. But the GMC's The Doctor as Teacher acknowledges that for many people teaching skills are “not necessarily innate.”2 The latest Good Medical Practice document reiterates that you should be “willing to