Medical education has undergone a major overhaul over the last decades and one significant change is related to teaching performance. Research indicates that the medical faculty typically has little training in didactics, split their time between clinical practice and teaching, award less priority to the latter, privileging research to the detriment of teaching, and resist changing their ways. According to the literature, such traits and attitudes would directly affect educational quality.
This study assessed how traits and attitudes of the medical faculty at a university in Minas Gerais impact student assessment of the education they receive. For that purpose, teachers were profiled through semi-structured interviews and analysis of relevant documentation. Subsequently, students assessed their teachers’ performance through a self-applied questionnaire. Performance and profiles were then compared, and statistical tests were used to analyze the associations between teachers’ traits and performance assessment results. Overall, 57 faculty members (83.8% of those eligible) and 203 students (84.5% of those eligible) participated in this study.
A faculty profile similar to that found in the literature was identified, with a majority of teachers dedicating only part of their time to the university, and most of their income coming from another occupation and teacher training amounting to a small portion of their overall professional training. The analyses of relationships between groups of traits and teaching performance, however, contradicted the literature. The data showed, with statistical relevance, that younger teachers and those who graduated a shorter time ago, who are less experienced in teaching or have other occupations, who lack a master’s degree and whose motivation to teach comes from satisfaction and vocation are better evaluated. Longer didactical training, undergoing training courses, longer weekly dedication and greater identification with the teaching profession are not significantly associated with better evaluation.
The worse evaluation of the most experienced faculty, associated with issues such as generational conflicts and difficulties adapting to new curricula, shows the importance of continuous faculty training and updating. Additionally, the better performance of more satisfied teachers, demonstrates the importance of valuing the teaching career and raising its status. Finally, it seems that more teacher training is not enough in itself and more attention must be paid to the training quality.
Health Education; Education Medical; Medical Faculty; Educational Evaluation