• 1 Universiti Kuala Lumpur Royal College of Medicine Perak
  • 2 Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman


A teacher’s perspective about what makes an effective medical teacher is changing. Medical
teachers are not data-banks of facts and experience, imparting knowledge passively. It was
decided to see what our faculty (Malaysian and non-Malaysian) thought were attributes of an
effective medical teacher.

This was a cross-sectional study in a private medical school in Malaysia. We obtained Ethics’
Committee approval. The estimated sample size was 73. Faculty willing to participate after
verbal informed consent were included. Thirty attributes were rated on a 5-point Likert scale.
Attributes were grouped into four categories: “teaching-related”, “personal traits” “interaction
with students”, and “teacher as a doctor”.

One hundred and four faculty completed the questionnaire (63.5% male, 36.5% female, 20.2%
preclinical, 25% surgical, 25% medical, 10.6% public health-family medicine and 19.2% general
studies lecturers).
Top ranking attributes selected from the percentage of faculty who rated each strongly were
“enabled to understand basic principles and enthusiastic” (77.9%), “made subject meaningful to
practice”, and “encouraged students to participate” (76%), “ethical” (73.1%), “presented
logically” (69.2%), “motivated students” (68.3%), “spoke loudly and clearly” (67.3%),
“passionate” (65.4%), “showed concern for students” (64.4%), “no bias” (63.5%), “punctual”
and “gave feedback”(61.5%).
Overall ranking for grouped attributes in descending order was “personal traits”, “teachingrelated”,
“interaction with students” and “teacher as a doctor”.

Conclusions and take home message:
Teachers in this study, did not rank knowledge among the top 10 attributes overall. Awareness of
perspectives of teachers will help administrators to organize appropriate staff development