Tips for IM Attendings – Chapter 8 – Teaching Style

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Category : Medical Rants

As I have mentioned previously, when we started our research we thought that teaching style was very important. Naively we thought that there was a “best practices” for teaching style. Three concepts stood out in this domain.

  1. Ask questions of team about decisions (what and why) (15)
  2. Have part of rounds at bedside, demonstrate key physical findings (22)
  3. Having succinct teaching points (11)

As previously mentioned, teaching style varies greatly among highly rated attending physicians. To reiterate, we have seen three some different trends:

  1. Table rounds prior to bedside rounds
  2. Nursing station (or hallway) discussions prior to bedside rounds
  3. Presentations and discussions at the bedside

These fundamentals pertain to all successful styles. They really speak for themselves. The questioning concept parallels with the thinking out loud concept. As an attending physician we should query the team about what they want to do, and why. This gives us the opportunity to praise (and give positive feedback) or teach when they have missed an important point.

Learners want us at the bedside. They want to see us interact with patients. They are interested in learning the physical examination.

Our learners do not have time for long treatises, rather they want us to address the basics clearly.

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