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Reading: Clinical teachers working in hospitals: a New Zealand perspective


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Original Research Paper

Clinical teachers working in hospitals: a New Zealand perspective


Marcus Henning ,

University of Auckland, NZ
About Marcus
Senior Lecturer, Centre for Medical and Health Sciences Education, Private Bag 92019
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Ralph Pinnock,

The Townsville Hospital, AU
About Ralph

Head of Discipline, Child and Adolescent Health


Senior Staff Specialist in Paediatrics, Starship Children’s Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand

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Warwick Bagg,

University of Auckland, NZ
About Warwick
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019
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Boaz Shulruf,

University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, AU
About Boaz
Associate Professor, Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine
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Susan J. Hawken

University of Auckland, NZ
About Susan J.
Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Private Bag 92019
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Introduction: The perceptions and actions of clinical teachers working in hospitals influence their teaching, how their students’ learn and the clinical learning environment. The research question was, “what are the views of clinical teachers in relation to what needs to be changed in the School of Medicine?”


Materials and methods: A total of 80 hospital clinical teachers involved in teaching general medicine, obstetrics and genecology, paediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery contributed to this study. The teachers were self-selected and expressed their perceptions in response to an open-ended question, ‘If you could change three things about medical school - what would they be?’ To derive meaning from the open-ended comments the Colaizzi phenomenological method was adapted. Additionally, six items were constructed to allow teachers to rate their level of agreement on key areas of teaching.


Results: The clinical teachers’ commentaries indicated that the main themes were in areas of curriculum and selection of students, teaching, service and research commitments, and professional development. The level of agreement data supported the commentaries and showed no differences across the clinical disciplines. Discussion: The findings of this study affirmed the need for further cohesion between the medical programme and the hospitals in terms of directing and integrating the curriculum. It is imperative that non-faculty clinician teachers have allocated time to teach and are rewarded for their work. Teach the teacher initiatives need to be developed to assist clinical teachers in meeting their teaching responsibilities in their hospital settings.
How to Cite: Henning, M., Pinnock, R., Bagg, W., Shulruf, B. and Hawken, S.J., 2012. Clinical teachers working in hospitals: a New Zealand perspective. South-East Asian Journal of Medical Education, 6(1), pp.18–24. DOI:
Published on 26 Jun 2012.
Peer Reviewed


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