Minimal supervision out-patient clinical teaching

Clin Teach. 2014 Aug;11(5):365-9. doi: 10.1111/tct.12237.


Background: Minimal faculty member supervision of students refers to a method of instruction in which the patient-student encounter is not directly supervised by a faculty member, and presents a feasible solution in clinical teaching. It is unclear, however, how such practices are perceived by patients and how they affect student learning.

Context: We aimed to assess patient and medical student perceptions of clinical teaching with minimal faculty member supervision. Questionnaires focusing on the perception of students' performance were administered to patients pre- and post-consultation. Students' self-perceptions on their performance were obtained using a questionnaire at the end of the consultation.

Innovation: Before encounters with students, 22 per cent of the 95 patients were not sure if they would feel comfortable or trust the students; after the consultation, almost all felt comfortable (97%) and relied on the students (99%). The 81 students surveyed agreed that instruction with minimal faculty member supervision encouraged their participation and engagement (86%). They expressed interest in knowing patients' opinions about their performance (94%), and they felt comfortable about being assessed by the patients (86%).

Implications: The minimal faculty member supervision model was well accepted by patients. Responses from the final-year students support the use of assessments that incorporate feedback from patients in their overall clinical evaluations.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care*
  • Clinical Clerkship / methods*
  • Clinical Clerkship / organization & administration
  • Faculty, Medical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Obstetrics / education
  • Organization and Administration
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pregnancy
  • Students, Medical / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching / methods*