Twelve tips to improve bedside teaching

Med Teach. 2003 Mar;25(2):112-5. doi: 10.1080/0142159031000092463.


Bedside teaching has long been considered the most effective method to teach clinical skills and communication skills. Despite this belief, the frequency of bedside rounds is decreasing and it is believed that this is a major factor causing a sharp decline in trainees' clinical skills. Several barriers appear to contribute to this lack of teaching at the bedside and have been discussed extensively in the literature. Concern about trainees' clinical skills has led organizations such as the American Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the WHO Advisory Committee on Medical training to recommend that training programs should increase the frequency of bedside teaching in their clinical curricula. Although obstacles to bedside teaching are acknowledged, this article in the '12 tips' series is a detailed description of teaching strategies that could facilitate a return to the bedside for clinical teaching.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards
  • Clinical Medicine / education*
  • Communication
  • Education, Medical / methods*
  • Humans
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Point-of-Care Systems
  • Teaching / methods*