Hospitalists as Teachers: How Do They Compare to Subspecialty and General Medicine Faculty?

Sunil Kripalani, Allison C. Pope, Kimberly Rask, Kimberly Hunt, Daniel D. Dressler, William T. Branch, Rebecca Zhang, Mark V. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To compare evaluations of teaching effectiveness among hospitalist, general medicine, and subspecialist attendings on general medicine wards. DESIGN: Cross-sectional. SETTING: A large, inner-city, public teaching hospital. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 423 medical students and house staff evaluating 63 attending physicians. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: We measured teaching effectiveness with the McGill Clinical Tutor Evaluation (CTE), a validated 25-item survey, and reviewed additional written comments. The response rate was 81%. On a 150-point composite measure, hospitalists' mean score (134.5 [95% confidence interval (CI), 130.2 to 138.8]) exceeded that of subspecialists (126.3 [95% CI, 120.4 to 132.1]), P = .03. General medicine attendings (135.0 [95% CI, 131.2 to 138.8]) were also rated higher than subspecialists, P = .01. Physicians who graduated from medical school in the 1990s received higher scores (136.0 [95% CI, 133.0 to 139.1]) than did more distant graduates (129.1 [95% CI, 125.1 to 133.1]), P = .006. These trends persisted after adjusting for covariates, but only year of graduation remained statistically significant, P = .05. Qualitative analysis of written remarks revealed that trainees valued faculty who were enthusiastic teachers, practiced evidence-based medicine, were involved in patient care, and developed a good rapport with patients and other team members. These characteristics were most often noted for hospitalist and general medicine attendings. CONCLUSIONS: On general medicine wards, medical students and residents considered hospitalists and general medicine attendings to be more effective teachers than subspecialists. This effect may be related to the preferred faculty members exhibiting specific characteristics and behaviors highly valued by trainees, such as enthusiasm for teaching and use of evidence-based medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-15
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of General Internal Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by a grant from the Emory Medical Care Foundation.


  • Hospitalist
  • Internist
  • Medical education
  • Subspecialist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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