To the Editor:
We read with great interest the article by Marcus and colleagues1 that highlighted the benefits of a resident-as-teacher program. We would also like to share our experience of establishing a junior resident-led career coaching workshop for medical students at the University of Hong Kong.
The benefits of career coaching for medical students through didactic lectures, assignments, and counseling by senior faculty have been well established in various medical schools.2 A small-group approach to career coaching may enhance student satisfaction2 and motivation, and a learning environment without senior faculty may have social benefits.3
Accordingly, in June 2022, we established a career coaching workshop for medical students that was designed and is led by junior residents (under 5 years after medical school graduation). The workshop is provided to medical students in their penultimate or final years of medical school. Instead of formal lectures or assignments, our program is organized in small-group meetings that last for around 2 hours. Medical students are invited to enroll in the voluntary program in groups of 5.
The workshop has 2 goals. The first goal is to provide a relaxed platform for students to voice their questions on career planning. With the small-group coaching model, our residents can provide advice based on personal experience and can establish objectives and action plans for each student. The second goal is to build up students’ practical skills in career development. Residents provide resume coaching for each student and guidance on job applications and interviews. Further meetings are arranged based on students’ requests.
The junior resident-led career coaching workshop is a novel program, particularly in our locality of Hong Kong. Its impact on medical student satisfaction and career prospects will be assessed. Given the bidirectional benefits of teaching, we believe that our program may also benefit residents who take part as coaches.1 Ultimately, we hope that this program can effectively supplement traditional career counseling to aid in the career development of medical students.
1. Marcus CH, Michelson CD, Luff D, Newman LR. Participation in a resident-as-teacher rotation: Motivations of and impacts on faculty coaches. Acad Med. 2022;97:1832–1840.
2. Sastre EA, Burke EE, Silverstein E, et al. Improvements in medical school wellness and career counseling: A comparison of one-on-one advising to an Advisory College Program. Med Teach. 2010;32:e429–e435.
3. Allikmets S, Vink JP. The benefits of peer-led teaching in medical education. Adv Med Educ Pract. 2016;7:329–330.