Open Access Research article

A classification of the verbal methods currently used to teach endoscopy

Deng Mapiour1, Michelle Prytula2 and Michael Moser1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Surgery, University of Saskatchewan, 103 Hospital Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 0W8, Canada

2 Department of Educational Administration, College of Education, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 0W8, Canada

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BMC Medical Education 2014, 14:163  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-14-163

Published: 9 August 2014



As endoscopy does not lend itself well to assisting or exposure by the teacher, most of the teaching is, by necessity, done verbally.


The verbal teaching occurring during 19 colonoscopies and 14 gastroscopies was recorded by dictaphone and later transcribed. The resultant 53-page transcript was then analyzed using the Grounded Theory method. Teaching was compared between learners with less than one month versus more than one month of training and between teaching of colonoscopy versus gastroscopy.


The process of iterative review and repeated testing yielded 6 types of verbal teaching: demonstration by the teacher, motor instructions, broad tips/tricks/pointers, verbal feedback, questioning, and non-procedural information. Inter-rater agreement was excellent (Fleiss’s kappa = 0.76) between resident (DM), the non-medical educator (MP), and the medical teacher (MM). Overall, there was less non-procedural teaching (6.7% vs 23.7%, p = 0.01) and a trend towards more teaching moments per case (13.2 vs 7.9, p = 0.07) in the first month of the rotation compared to the later months. A greater proportion of the teaching for colonoscopy involved demonstration (13.7% vs. 2.7%, p = 0.040) and tips/tricks/pointers (26.6% vs. 12.4%, p = 0.012) compared to gastroscopy.


We describe a means of categorizing verbal teaching in endoscopy that is simple and shows strong inter-rater agreement that will serve as a starting point for further studies aiming to improve how endoscopy is taught.

Endoscopy; Gastroscopy; Colonoscopy; Skills; Verbal teaching