Tips for Effective Bedside Clinical Teaching

Publication ID Published Volume
220 July 24, 2006 2


Introduction: Bedside teaching is considered one of the most important clinical teaching methods, yet clinical teaching is gravitating to conference rooms and corridors. Examples of skills best taught at the bedside include communication skills, clinical skills, and professionalism. Several barriers and challenges to bedside teaching have been reported and many clinical teachers are uncertain about effective strategies for resolving them. This resource provides instruction on how to conduct bedside teaching. Methods: This is designed to be a 3-hour interactive workshop. There are a variety of teaching methods used: didactics, brainstorming, video review, and small-group work. The workshop includes discussion of: (1) the definition and learning outcomes of bedside teaching, (2) the application of educational principles of experiential learning to bedside teaching, (3) techniques for effective bedside teaching, (4) challenges to bedside teaching, (5) specific challenges of bedside teaching (discussed in small groups), (6) take-home messages shared by the audience. Results: All 20 participants felt that their personal learning objectives had been met. All were enthusiastic about incorporating bedside teaching in their clinical teaching. Many faculty saw the importance of planning before rounds and reflecting after rounds. Discussion: After the administration of this resource, a number of takeaways were gathered. Many participants desired additional faculty development workshops. Some felt that 3 hours was not sufficient to address bedside teaching, they wanted to incorporate real bedside teaching in a hospital as part of this workshop. This may be difficult to achieve but there is an intent to ask the sponsors if such a teaching session is possible in the future. Participants also desired additional role-plays rather than case discussions for small-group work. The authors plan to include role-play scenarios the next time a similar workshop is presented. Finally, feedback included the importance of speaking slowly and using simple English when addressing an audience whose primary language is not English.


Ramani S. Tips for effective bedside clinical teaching. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2006;2:220.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this session, learners will be able to:

  1. Understand the definition of bedside teaching and the learning outcomes of a bedside teaching encounter.
  2. Understand the principles and benefits of experimental learning and apply them to their own bedside teaching.
  3. Learn teaching strategies for effective teaching at the bedside.
  4. Discuss challenges for bedside teachers and generate possible solutions in small groups.


  • Bedside, Experiential, Education

Prior Scholarly Dissemination

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ISSN 2374-8265