Teachers’ perceptions of their roles in medical colleges

Shazia Rafiq Nawabi, Rehan Ahmed Khan, Rahila Yasmeen


Background: Defining the role of medical teachers in medical colleges is important to prepare them for this complex task. Harden has shortlisted 12 major roles of medical teachers.  There is a need to study how medical teachers perceive these roles in Pakistani medical education environment.

Aim: This study was conducted to understand teachers’ perceptions of their roles and their teaching experiences in three medical colleges of Islamabad, Pakistan. 

Methods: It was a cross sectional descriptive survey conducted on the faculty of the three private sector medical colleges in Islamabad, Pakistan. The study used a part of the 12-item questionnaire, developed by Harden and Crosby to measure the perceptions of faculty about their roles as teachers.  

Results: A total of 85 faculty members filled the questionnaire. The majority of faculty members perceived most important role of medical teacher as information provider (87%) in lecture and clinical setting, followed by mentor and student assessor (82%). Most of the faculty rated all the roles as considerably important and the results were comparable with the ratings from Dundee University.  

Conclusion: The role of a medical teacher has extended beyond the boundaries of information provider over the past few decades. Pakistani medical and dental colleges employ thousands of teachers in basic medical and clinical sciences. It is important that the teachers are familiar with their multiple roles and have adequate training to perform them effectively. Once perceptions of teachers are understood about their roles, medical institutions can prepare faculty development programs to train teachers about their roles.   

Key words: perceptions, resource developer, faculty development

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