Workshop A: The Virtual Preceptor: How Microskills Can Make You a More Effective Teacher

The Virtual Preceptor: How Microskills Can Make You a More Effective Teacher


Anna Craig, PA,1 Purva Ranchal, MD1 and Catherine James, MD2

Department of 1Medicine and 2Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine


Teaching time during clinical encounters is often limited, and virtual patient visits introduce new challenges to preceptors and learners. Using the Microskills framework can help maximize the educational experience of learners and make instructors more efficient in telemedicine encounters. This session is intended to equip clinician educators with a learner-centered framework that helps the preceptor to focus on the decision-making process used by the learner and give targeted feedback. Virtual visits can add extraneous cognitive load due to technological issues and changes to normal workflow; using a framework for precepting can help optimize learning during a patient encounter. During this session, participants will learn how to use the Microskills framework, which incorporates targeted feedback and cognitive load theory, in a virtual patient encounter. Participants will then have the opportunity to do hands on practice of the Microskills in breakout rooms with feedback from peers and presenters.

Target Audience:

Student and trainee educators who want to learn more about the Microskills framework to use for precepting in virtual encounters

Learning Objectives:

1. Describe the five step Microskills model of clinical teaching
2. Provide targeted feedback to a learner that optimizes cognitive load
3. Apply the Microskills model in a virtual clinical precepting scenario
Session Outline (including Timeline, Duration of Activities, Hands-On and/or Group Work):

Workshop Description:

Introduction and overview (10 minutes)

Challenges of Virtual Encounters (5 minutes)

Content review (10 minutes)

-Introduction to Microskills 1-3 and cognitive load theory
-Introduction to Microskills 4-5 and feedback best practices

Demonstration with role play of the steps of Microskills (15 minutes)

-Group critique and discussion of examples

Breakout rooms for case-based application of Microskills (20 minutes)

Large group debrief of breakout room experience (10 minutes)

Review of take-home points (10 minutes)

Wrap up with Q&A session and evaluation (10 minutes)

*GMS HS 702, BU Health Professions Education MS students, professor Jeff Markuns MD