DOI: 10.1093/bjs/znad258.591 ISSN:

599 Improving Confidence of Medical Students Towards Surgical Specialities Using a Near-Peer Teaching Programme

I Dighero, A Fishwick, J Bawa, E Pace, J Kyriakides
  • Surgery



Medical students express anxiety relating to the hidden curriculum of a junior doctor, in particular, relating to working in surgical specialities. ‘Near-peer teaching’ is proven to be effective for educating doctors. Further, ‘near-peer teaching’ allows doctors to gain experience in teaching roles. This study aimed to improve confidence and preparedness of incoming foundation trainees into surgical specialities using a near-peer teaching programme.


Teachers were recruited from ‘near-peer’ training levels, all having graduated within the last 3 years. The curriculum was designed based on anecdotal experience of the ‘hidden curriculum’ across surgical specialities. A five-session, online teaching programme was delivered. The course was free to attend. Post-course feedback data was collected using a five-point scale with free-text options.


156 incoming foundation trainees from 21 medical schools attended the course and responded to the feedback survey. After completing the course, 93% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that they felt more confident when approaching surgical patients. 98% agreed or strongly agreed that the course was appropriate to their stage of training; 98% would recommend the course to colleagues.


New foundation trainees responded well to a near-peer surgical teaching course. There was a significant improvement in confidence to approaching surgical patients after attending this course. Through feedback, which included free-text recommendations, there is scope for future iterations of this course. This will continue to provide a platform for junior doctors to fulfill their role as teachers, whilst benefiting future incoming foundation trainees in preparing for jobs within surgical specialities.

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