Attending rounds and bedside case presentations: medical student and medicine resident experiences and attitudes

Teach Learn Med. 2009 Apr-Jun;21(2):105-10. doi: 10.1080/10401330902791156.


Background: Attending rounds have transitioned away from the patient's bedside toward the hallway and conference rooms. This transition has brought into question how to best teach on medicine services.

Purpose: The purpose is to describe learner experiences and attitudes regarding bedside attending rounds at an academic medical institution.

Method: Cross-sectional Web-based survey of 102 medical students and 51 internal medicine residents (75% response rate).

Results: The mean time spent at the bedside during attending rounds was 27.7% (SD = 20.1%). During 73% of the rotations, case presentations occurred at the bedside 25% of the time or less. Learners experiencing bedside case presentations were more likely to prefer bedside case presentations. Despite their stated concerns, learners believe bedside rounds are important for learning core clinical skills.

Conclusions: Time spent at the bedside is waning despite learners' beliefs that bedside learning is important for professional development. Our findings suggest the necessity to re-examine our current teaching methods on internal medicine services.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence
  • Competency-Based Education
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Curriculum
  • Data Collection
  • Education, Medical, Graduate*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine / education*
  • Internet
  • Internship and Residency / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Patient Care / methods
  • Students, Medical*
  • Teaching*