Anne T. Kloek and Angela C.M. van Zijl contributed equally to this work.
Editor’s Note: Commentary by: H.S. Meyer, doi:10.1007/s40037-016-0309-x
Teaching opportunities and teacher courses for medical students are increasingly offered by medical schools but little has been investigated about their long-term effect. The aim of our study was to investigate the long-term career effect of an intensive elective teaching experience for final year medical students.
We approached UMC Utrecht medical graduates who had taken a final year, 6‑week full time student teaching rotation (STR) elective, 6 to 9 years after graduation, with an online survey to ask about their educational activities and obtained teaching certificates, their current roles related to education, and their appreciation of the rotation, even if this was a long time ago. In addition, we surveyed control groups of students who had not taken the STR, divided into those who had expressed interest in the STR but had not been placed and those who had not expressed such interest.
We received responses from 50 STR graduates and 88 non-STR graduates (11 with interest and 77 without interest in the STR). STR graduates were more educationally active, had obtained more university teaching certificates and were more enthusiastic teachers. However, we could not exclude confounding, caused by a general interest in education even before the STR.
Our findings indicate a high appreciation of the student teaching rotation and a likely but not proven long-term association between STR participation and building an educational career.