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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the practicality of implementing a peer-teaching program in a large class (>350 students) of medical students and whether such a program is beneficial. Case-based problems were developed by faculty members to facilitate student problem solving and discussion. Voluntary student enrollment was available during the first week of a semester. Tutorials took place during out of class time and were facilitated by peers from the previous class. Tutors were selected for their outstanding performance in physiology; they were provided with training in facilitation skills and were given a package of model answers. Sixty-eight students enrolled in this pilot program and were organized into groups of 8 students. On average, students attended four of six tutorials. Posttutorial quiz scores were significantly greater than paired pretest scores. Surveys showed that students had high expectations at the outset, which were matched with positive perceptions at the end of the tutorial program; the use of near-peer tutors was especially well received. Tutors also gave high approval ratings for their experiences. In conclusion, the peer tutoring program was logistically straightforward to implement in a large class and was endorsed by the participants.
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