Commonly cited barriers to effective teaching in emergency medicine include lack of time, competing demands for patient care, and a lack of formal teaching experience. Teaching may be negatively affected by demands for increased clinical productivity, or positively influenced by clinical experience.
To examine the association between faculty teaching scores and clinical productivity, years of clinical experience, and amount of clinical contact with resident physicians.
We conducted a retrospective, observational study with existing data on full-time faculty at a high-volume, urban emergency medicine residency training program for academic year 2008–2009. Residents rated faculty on 9 domains of teaching, including willingness to teach, enthusiasm for teaching, medical knowledge, preparation, and communication. Clinical productivity data for relative value units per hour and number of patients per hour, years of clinical experience, and annual clinical hours were obtained from existing databases.
For the 25 core faculty members included in the study, there was no relationship between faculty teaching scores and clinical productivity measures (relative value units per hour: r2 = 0.01, P = .96, patients per hour: r2 = 0.00, P = .76), or between teaching scores and total clinical hours with residents (r2 = 0.07, P = .19). There was a significant negative relationship between years of experience and teaching scores (r2 = 0.27, P < .01).
Our study demonstrated that teaching scores for core emergency medicine faculty did not correlate with clinical productivity or amount of clinical contact with residents. Teaching scores were inversely related to number of years of clinical experience, with more experienced faculty earning the lowest teaching scores. Further study is necessary to determine if there are clinical measures that identify good educators.