The inpatient physician functions as an educator and as a coach. From the outset, set expectations of the learner using the One Minute Learner. Consider the structure of your rounds. Let the student know how many patients he/she is responsible for pre-rounding on, what to do during pre-rounds, and the time/location/structure of rounds.
The inpatient attending can motivate learners by addressing learners by name, using physical touch, tapping into the students’ own motivation for learning (personalize your teaching based on the student’s interests or motivations), using visualization, emphasizing methods rather than content, and striving to ensure the quality and quantity of teaching as appropriate to the level of the learner. You do not have to know everyone’s name to start with. Call on the learner whose name you do know and ask them to call on the next person: "Gregoir, I've called on you enough. Choose someone else on the team by name." Use the names as often as you can to remember them.
To promote learner memory and retention, the attending should:
- Consider using organizers (such as illustrations or mnemonics) and teaching in an orderly sequence (building on foundational information).
- Use questions appropriately (see the section on using questions) can help students to learn as well.
- Teaching in the Presence of the Patient (TIPP) can be helpful to involve the patient, role model patient-centeredness and further your own work satisfaction. To learn more about TIPP, view either of these resources: stfm.org or meddent.uwa.edu.au
Another important task for the attending is to establish a supportive environment in which everyone can say “I don’t know”, even the teacher. This can also be considered a no-blame culture. Calling on students during rounds with questions regarding patient care and management is appropriate in that your motivation is to further patient care and student learning. Calling on a learner until they don’t know a question that seems unrelated to patient care may be perceived as pimping and will not further the student’s learning. The same skills that you use in communicating with patients will help you to communicate with students. Rounds present an excellent opportunity to ask questions linking the learner’s basic science knowledge to clinical care and treatment.
In the inpatient setting, learners can hone their time management, data organization, interpersonal, communication, lifelong learning and clinical skills. Students may not understand how to address the many tasks they will be charged with in the inpatient setting. You may encourage learners to organize their tasks into important or urgent tasks and prioritize urgent tasks. Assigning learner reading to be presented at the end of the day or the following day will help the student to incorporate daily reading into her/his daily habits.
The University of Western Australia crafted the Teaching on the Run Tips Series. Each Tip is less than two pages.
This is an article from the New England Journal of Medicine geared towards residents who teach and applicable to any medical educator.
This article discusses "Twelve tips to improve bedside teaching"
These YouTube videos offer tips on teaching at the bedside:
This 17 minute voice over powerpoint describes clinical teaching: