March 2018

Increase the Efficiency of Your Precepting Using the Five-Step Microskills Model

The Five-Step Microskills model for precepting, also known at the One-Minute Preceptor, maximizes the efficiency of each clinical teaching encounter with a learner. The structure of this model allows you to more accurately identify your learner’s gaps in knowledge and teach general rules to improve his or her clinical reasoning.

The first step in this model begins after the learner has presented a patient's case. Ask the learner to commit to a potential diagnosis or treatment plan by asking "What do you think is going on?" This commitment encourages the learner to process the information and focus on solving the patient’s problem.

Once the learner has made her commitment, you can then move into the second step of probing for evidence to support that diagnosis or treatment plan. You will be able to spot gaps in the learner’s knowledge and gain insight into his or her critical thinking skills. These first two steps allow you to give specific feedback and targeted teaching in the rest of the teaching encounter. 

More About Teaching Strategies

Visit the Teaching Strategies section for more models and methods for helping learners develop diagnostic reasoning skills.