Academic physicians encounter many demands on their time including patient care, quality and performance requirements, research, and education. In an era when patient volume is prioritized and competition for research funding is intense, there is a risk that medical education will become marginalized. Bedside teaching, a responsibility of academic physicians regardless of professional track, is challenged in particular out of concern that it generates inefficiency, and distractions from direct patient care, and can distort physician-patient relationships. At the same time, the bedside is a powerful location for teaching as learners more easily engage with educational content when they can directly see its practical relevance for patient care. Also, bedside teaching enables patients and family members to engage directly in the educational process. Successful bedside teaching can be aided by consideration of four factors: climate, attention, reasoning, and evaluation. Creating a safe environment for learning and patient care is essential. We recommend that educators set expectations about use of medical jargon and engagement of the patient and family before they enter the patient room with trainees. Keep learners focused by asking relevant questions of all members of the team and by maintaining a collective leadership style. Assess and model clinical reasoning through a hypothesis-driven approach that explores the rationale for clinical decisions. Focused, specific, real-time feedback is essential for the learner to modify behaviors for future patient encounters. Together, these strategies may alleviate challenges associated with bedside teaching and ensure it remains a part of physician practice in academic medicine.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine