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The status of bedside teaching in the United Kingdom: the student perspective

Authors Jones P, Rai B

Received 24 February 2015

Accepted for publication 1 April 2015

Published 3 June 2015 Volume 2015:6 Pages 421—429

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S83407

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Md Anwarul Majumder


Patrick Jones, Bhavan Prasad Rai

Department of Surgery, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, UK

Purpose: Bedside teaching holds a strong tradition as a key-learning platform for clinical examination in the basic medical clerkship. There is a growing body of literature expressing concern for its witnessed decline in medical school curricula. However, the views of students toward this patient-centered cornerstone in surgical education remain under-reported. The purpose of this study was to gain a nationwide perspective on bedside teaching according to medical students in the United Kingdom.
Materials and methods: An adapted Delphi method was employed to formulate the question series as part of a multi-step process including a pilot study, which was used to construct this survey. The target population was medical undergraduates in the United Kingdom and participants were recruited via social media. Outcomes assessed included exposure to bedside teaching, perceived benefits of clinical simulation, and junior doctors as clinical teachers. Barriers to clinical examination were also evaluated.
Results: Overall, 368 completed surveys were received (completion rate 98.9%). Final year students were significantly more likely to report receiving insufficient bedside teaching (P<0.01). Seventy-eight percent of the study group agreed that clinical simulation is a good learning tool for clinical examination. Seventy percent of students felt junior doctors were as able as senior doctors to teach. Lack of confidence was identified as the commonest barrier to overcome when examining patients and two-thirds of students felt they burdened patients during bedside teaching.
Conclusion: This prospective study confirms the exposure deficit, which medical students experience in bedside teaching. The junior doctor represents a dynamic clinical teacher in the face of working time directives. Peer learning is a novel solution to such pressures. Work is needed to re-establish the hospital wards as a supportive environment for student learning.

Keywords: teaching skills, learning environment, communication skills
 
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