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The Teaching of Interns

Gregg Coodley, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1991;151(7):1458. doi:10.1001/archinte.1991.00400070198033.
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To the Editor.—  The recent article by Nerenz et al1 helped highlight the role of residents (PGY2 and PGY3) as the primary teachers in internal medicine training programs. The data given by Nerenz and colleagues showed that residents spent almost four times as much time in bedside teaching of interns (45 minutes) than did attending physicians (12 minutes) during an on-call period. Moreover, almost all bedside teaching after 5 PM was done by residents.The role of residents as the primary teachers of interns goes further. The majority of procedures that an intern learns, from venipuncture to lumbar puncture, are taught by residents. Moreover, although there are little data available on this question, most doctors' orders on house staff services are written by interns alone or under the direction of more senior residents. Given this picture, it is not surprising that many interns come to dread attending rounds as


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