Alexander Hall, 2nd Year GEMS Student, UL
Being able to tutor 1st year medical students in anatomy that I learned last year and am still examined on is a very personally educational endeavor. It enhances my own understanding of the material being able to explain it to others. Volunteering as a model for ultrasound skills education has allowed me to enhance my own understanding of the clinical skill as well as the relevant underlying anatomy – even if the clinical session was not intended for my learning, by being a volunteer I was able to keep an ear open to the discussion. I selected to volunteer with the peer anatomy tutoring program because I got a lot out of it last year when I attended anatomy session hosted by students a year ahead of me. I thought it would be a great to way to improve my teaching skills and review the relevant anatomy.
I was responsible for organizing and creating teaching session on weekly anatomy covered by 1st year students. I have volunteered in many capacities before, so this didn’t change my outlook but it was nice to combine teaching with volunteering. During my teaching sessions I had a partner. We had to determine how much each was going to present to the class. At times we had to jump in and add material where we thought necessary. This required some discussion afterwards as to how this would be managed going forward.
Definitely being able to teach during this experience has helped my communications skills. This was a great bonus to this volunteering experience. I had to articulate somewhat complicated concepts to a group of students. At times it wasn’t always easy to articulate these concepts clearly and so I had to adapt throughout the year and use more mneumonics to help students memorize parts of anatomy.
Having the opportunity to improve my teaching and communication skills during this degree will inevitably have a positive impact on my future career in medicine.
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