Last week I shared some key tips on aligning instructional methods with the learning objectives of a curriculum. The blog also addressed an approach to teaching procedures. Today, the topic is clinical (bedside) teaching.
The history of medicine is built on clinical teaching. It was Osler who returned “bedside” teaching to prominence at Johns Hopkins and reminded the profession that clinicians are not developed in lecture halls, separated from patients.
“I desire no other epitaph… than the statement that I taught medical students in the wards, as I regard this as by far the most useful and important work I have been called upon to do.”
“To have a group of cloistered clinicians away completely from the broad current of professional life would be bad for teacher and worse for student. The primary work of a professor of medicine in a medical school is in the wards, teaching his pupils how to deal with patients and their diseases.”
– Sir William Osler
While the importance of clinical teaching is accepted in medical education (although many CEs would argue that it is not acknowledged nor rewarded in academia), efficient and effective teaching in the clinical environment can be challenging. This process can become even more challenging when delegated to senior trainees, who perform the bulk of clinical teaching in teaching hospitals.
The challenge with bedside teaching rarely involves a lack of medical knowledge. Rather, it is the process of sharing and structuring clinical content with learners that makes bedside teaching difficult. With colleagues I developed a bedside teaching framework specific to the challenges of emergency medicine. Neher has published the popular One Minute Preceptor model.