July 19, 2021

​​​​​​Teaching tips for providers in pediatric practices​

Bruce Peyser, MD, FACP
Director of Education and Teaching, Duke Primary and Urgent Care
Physician, Duke Primary Care Pickett Road

Professor of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine

Here is a summary of the pediatric faculty development program that took place on April 23, 2021, as well as a number of teaching tips the presenters shared.

Dr. Aditee Narayan started the session with her pediatric Grand Rounds presentation entitled “Overview of things you need to know in order to meet the needs of learners rotating in pediatric outpatient clinics.”

Dr. Narayan asked, “How does teaching help us as clinicians?” Her answer involved a discussion about how teaching permits clinician educators to reset their thoughts. Reflecting on teaching, she said, “I don’t have to teach. Instead, it’s a privilege to teach.”

She explained that the way students are greeted at the office when they first arrive can make a big difference in making them feel welcomed and appreciated.

She suggested asking students to set a realistic goal for what they want to learn that day, and she urged providers to ask the student at the end of the session if they had accomplished that goal.

Additionally, Dr. Narayan spoke about how learners make us smarter because they ask questions that begin with “why.” That, she explained, sometimes prompts us to have to look things up in order to explain a concept.


Dr. Joseph Jackson and Marty Nelson from the physician assistant school focused on the art of teaching well-child care with learners present. Additionally, they examined pursuing learning gaps. These could be within the realm of a knowledge gap, a skills gap, or a behavior gap.

They discussed the fact that learners often need help transitioning between problem-focused encounters and prevention-focused encounters.

They suggested the intake team that greets a patient and family should alert these individuals that a learner will be present in the room at the time of the visit.


Dr. Ellie Erickson addressed some ways to efficiently teach in the pediatric outpatient setting. She emphasized the importance of acknowledging that a provider might end up running late with a student present. At that point in time, she proposed the student should “choose their own adventure,” whether that involved working on a note, prepping for the next patient, or working with staff in the clinic.

Dr. Erickson also likes doing a wrap-up at the end of the day, even if it lasts for just 90 seconds. She asks then for one thing the student learned from the day and something they might try to do next time.


Finally, Dr. Kitty O’Hare from our own Duke Primary Care Pediatrics at Holly Springs office spoke about ways to engage learners so they can learn from all the professionals who work in pediatric practice. She touched on the importance of setting proper expectations for learners, emphasizing that we all should be modeling the behaviors we expect to see from them.

Fifty-five individuals attended the conference. If you want to view any of the presentations and discussions, you can watch a recording of the full conference. (Use the tools at the bottom of the window to find a specific segment.)

Also, there will be another faculty development session Wednesday, May 5. Learn more, and register.