The impact of Near-Peer teaching on medical students’ transition to clerkships

Alexander C. Knobloch, Christy J.W. Ledford, Sean Wilkes, Adam K. Saperstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The transition to clerkships is one of the most challenging times during medical school. To help students better cope, many schools have established transition-to-clerkship curricula. Such curricula may optimally prepare students through increasing their self-efficacy and response efficacy. We hypothesized that a small-group, near-peer-led format would be ideally suited to help students achieve these outcomes. METHODS: During process improvement for a transition-to-clerkship curriculum, we conducted an informal focus group and subsequent survey of postclerkship students to guide curricular innovation, including incorporation of third-and fourth-year students as near-peer instructors in a seminar format. Seminars included three sequential small-group discussions focused on discrete topic areas and concluded with a large-group session highlighting salient discussion points. To evaluate the impact of this educational strategy, near-peer learners were surveyed before and after the seminars. RESULTS: Junior student participants reported feeling more prepared to integrate into the health care team, develop a clerkship study plan, and access applicable, valuable study materials, both immediately following the seminars and 6 months later, demonstrating increased self-efficacy. These students placed equal or greater value on these topics as compared to students in previous year groups, demonstrating similar response efficacy. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated an increase in student self-efficacy that persisted 6 months postintervention, in addition to similar response efficacy. Future research could be directed toward: (1) investigating whether improvements in self-efficacy among students transitioning to clerkships are associated with improved clerkship performance and (2) studying outcomes for near-peer teachers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-62
Number of pages5
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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