Getting Better Together: A Website Review of Peer Coaching Initiatives for Medical Educators

Adriane E. Bell*, Holly S. Meyer, Lauren A. Maggio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Phenomenon: Peer coaching is a form of faculty development in which medical educators collegially work together to improve their teaching. Benefits include use of evidence-based teaching practices, promotion of collegial discussions, and reflection within the workplace teaching context. Some faculty developers have expertise in designing and offering peer coaching initiatives for medical educators. However, because of a paucity of reporting on these initiatives in the literature, this specialized knowledge is not readily accessible to the health professions education community. This gap hinders practice advancement and creates barriers for new initiative implementation. Approach: The authors conducted a website review to identify, examine, and conceptually map characteristics of peer coaching initiatives at Association of American Medical Colleges–accredited medical schools. Forty-five initiatives were included that maintained publicly accessible websites, performed direct observation of teaching with feedback, and had a stated purpose of improving teaching. Data collection included details related to initiative purpose, structure, participation, observation of teaching, feedback, and support of learning. Findings: Most initiatives were voluntary and provided formative feedback with the sole purpose of improving teaching. Nearly all used a three-phase process with a preobservation meeting for goal setting, direct observation of teaching, and a postobservation meeting with feedback. Many initiatives required peer coach training and expertise. Reflection, collaboration, confidentiality, and use of an observation instrument were frequently mentioned. Insights: This website review provides faculty developers with a knowledge synthesis of how present-day peer coaching initiatives are structured and enacted—laying a foundation to collaborate, build best practices, and identify areas for future research. These findings enable faculty developers to learn from and build upon others’ examples. Future research should explore whether there is an ideal coaching model and location for peer coaching within the higher level organization. In addition, researchers should seek to build consensus on initiative characteristics that enhance participation and foster teaching effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalTeaching and Learning in Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • feedback
  • observation
  • peer coach
  • reflection
  • teaching


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