Brief Report

Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 287-290

First online:

Experiential Anamnesis and Group Consensus: An Innovative Method to Teach Residents to Teach

  • H. Jonathan PolanAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Weill Medical College of Cornell University and New York Presbyterian Hospital Email author 

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Using a novel method, residents generated examples and principles of good medical teaching from their experiences of being taught as medical students. This article describes and evaluates this method of teaching preparation, gives the main teaching principles the residents derived, and provides representative examples of their experiences which illustrate each principle.


In this 2-hour session, postgraduate year two (PGY-2) psychiatric residents shared their most notable experiences of being taught as medical students with their cohort and a faculty facilitator and, from these experiences, articulated principles of medical teaching for their immediate use as psychiatric clerkship teachers. The residents responded to a survey questionnaire to gauge the value of the method.


In 2009, 11 PGY-2 residents recollected 18 experiences of peak or poor teaching and derived five major principles of teaching from them in an affectively intense and cognitively engaging group exercise. The survey results indicated that the session caused residents to feel better prepared for medical student teaching.


This method of peer group processing mobilized residents’ memories of being taught and organized them into practical principles of good teaching.