Clinical teaching and learning: from theory and research to application

Med J Aust. 2012 May 7;196(8):527. doi: 10.5694/mja10.11473.


Learning in the clinical setting is the cornerstone of medical school education, but there are strong imperatives to optimise the ways in which students acquire clinical expertise. Deliberate practice is characterised by attention, concentration, effort and repetition of skills; it is an important tool for developing and maintaining professional expertise. Research has led to a greater understanding of how medical students develop core clinical skills, especially in the areas of diagnostic reasoning, communication and physical examination. Advances in information technology and instructional design are helping to strengthen the links between formal educational activities and opportunistic learning in the clinical setting.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods*
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Teaching*