Background: Balancing consistently effective clinical teaching with quality patient care is a crucial challenge for ambulatory preceptors. Educators have developed frameworks of specific teaching behaviors to facilitate consistent, efficient precepting, but few have evaluated their effectiveness. We modified an existing precepting model by incorporating additional adult learning principles to create the Eight Step Preceptor (ESP) model. We then determined if students perceived faculty to be more effective teachers when they incorporated more ESP components into their precepting sessions. Purposes: The objective was to describe the association between faculty using the ESP behaviors during their precepting and medical students' satisfaction with their learning. Methods: A trained observer timed the duration of precepting sessions in a children's hospital ambulatory clinic between August and November 2001. Students rated faculty "teaching effectiveness," and both students and observer rated whether faculty effectively incorporated ESP behaviors during each session. Results: Sessions lasted on average 26 ± 14 min. Faculty gave a teaching point and feedback in over 50% of the precepting sessions but did not consistently incorporate the other ESP behaviors. Faculty use of more ESP behaviors correlated significantly with greater teaching effectiveness (r =.62, p <.003) but not significantly with duration of precepting sessions. Conclusions: Students perceived faculty as more effective teachers when they incorporated more ESP behaviors while precepting. The ESP model was associated with more effective ambulatory precepting in our study.
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