Three Tips to Effectively Teach in the Presence of Patients

Teaching in the presence of a patient is an efficient way for learners to hone a variety of skills while you model appropriate behaviors for interacting with patients. By teaching in the presence of patients, you are able to simultaneously diagnose and treat your patient while observing your learner’s strengths and weaknesses. As you consider which patient visits would be most instructive to your learners, keep in mind the following tips.

First, always be mindful of the level of the learner. There are significant differences in knowledge and performance between third and fourth year medical students. Second, if you are precepting a team of learners,  we recommend taking just one learner at a time into the exam room. In this way, you can provide clinical experiences that not only fulfill clerkship goals, but incorporate the learner’s specific goals as well. Third, prime the learner by orienting him or her to their tasks and objectives for the visit before entering the patient room. Describe what your role will be in the patient visit as well as expected results.

More Pages About Teaching in the Presence of Patients

You can find more pages about teaching in the presence of patients in the Teaching Strategies section, as well as throughout the website.