Student tutors and learning critical reading in an undergraduate boarding school

Alumnos tutores y el aprendizaje de la lectura crítica en internado de pregrado
Héctor Cobos Aguilara, Patricia Pérez Cortésa, Sophia Sánchez Lópezb, Alejandro Sámano Guerrerob, Rogelio A. Elizondo Pereob y Carlos E. Ochoa Castroc

a Departamento de Ciencias Clínicas, División Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Monterrey, San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo León, México
b Servicio Social, Universidad de Monterrey, San Pedro Garza García, Nuevo León, México
c Cardiología, Hospital Christus Muguerza AE, Monterrey, Nuevo León, México

Recibido el 19 de noviembre de 2016; aceptado el 17 de mayo de 2017

Palabras Clave

Educación, Médica, Empatía, Médicos, Prueba psicológica, Precisión de las mediciones dimensionales


Peer teaching; Internship; Critical reading/appraisal


Introduction: Student teaching abilities are disregarded during medical school.

Aim: To compare the results obtained by medical interns (MI) in the critical appraisal of research papers in a course taught by student tutors versus results obtained by Lecturers. The students´ı teaching performance was also evaluated.

Method: The study included 100 MI divided into 4 groups: G1 (n: 16), G2 (n: 29), G3 (n: 28), and G4 (n: 27). Student tutors and Lecturers were assigned to groups (G: 1, 2, 3 ) and (G4 ), respectively. A 40-hour course was designed and included reading published research articles, guideline work-ups, homework review, and group discussions. A validated and consistent (KR 0.78) measurement tool was used that included 96 balanced items, 32 of which were designed to interpret, judge and propose, while 12 focused on study design (case-control, diagnostic tests, surveys, instruments, randomised clinical trial, cohorts, meta-analysis and balanced follow-up), as well as 48 questions to be answered as ‘‘true’’ or ‘‘false’’. The tool was applied at the beginning and end of the course. Before and after results were reported as medians, as well as the items, study design, and overall. Answer randomness and weighted progress were determined in each group. The MI graded the teaching performance of the lecturers with 17 evaluated items.

Results: Overall initial vs. final (G1 : 14 vs. 22*, G2 : 11 vs. 28*, G3 : 13 vs. 21, and G4 : 21 vs. 33. (*Wilco- xon <0.05). Kruskal-Wallis, > 0.05, between-group overall initial and < 0.05 in final, in favour of G2 and G4 . Randomness decreased to 38%, 24%, 36%, and 7%, and weighted progress was 1.9, 3.1, 1.9, and 2.5 in the 4 groups, respectively. There was more progress in study designs than in tool designs and RCC. All four Lecturers were graded similarly (Mann-Whitney U test > 0.05).

Conclusions: Results confirm that selected student tutors, by implementing participative strategies, can stimulate learning of critical appraisal of research among MI, and their results are close to those obtained by experienced Lecturers.This ability should be stimulated and strengthened among young physicians.