Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences

Document Type: Review Article

Authors

1 Department of Medical Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2 Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

3 Department of Pathology, Blood Transfusion Unit, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Abstract

Bedside teaching is a vital component of medical education. It is applicable to any situation where teaching is imparted in the presence of patients. In teaching in the patients’ presence, learners have the opportunities to use all of their senses and learn the humanistic aspect of medicine such as role modeling, which is vital but difficult to communicate in words. Unfortunately, bedside teaching has been on the decline. To investigate the reasons for the decline in bedside teaching, its importance and its revival, a review of literature was carried out using PubMed and other data bases. The review revealed that the major concerns of bedside teaching were time constraint, false preceptors’ concern about patients’ comfort, short stay of patients in hospitals, learner distraction by technology, lack of experience and unrealistic fa-culty expectation. Whatsoever the reasons, bedside teaching cannot be replaced with anything else. There are newer approaches of effective bedside teaching, and the core focus of all such approaches is educational process. A bedside teacher must learn how to involve patients and learners in the educational processes. Moreover, bedside teaching is the process through which learners acquire the skills of communication by asking patients’ permission, establishing ground rules, setting time limit, introducing the team, diagnosing learner, diagnosing patient, conducting focused teaching, using simple language, asking patient if there is any question, closing with encouraging thanks, and giving feedback privately. It is most important to ensure a comfortable environment for all participants, the learner, the patient and the bedside teacher. Ongoing faculty development programs on educational processes and realistic faculty expectations may overcome the problems.