Focus Teaching to Improve Retention

Identifying what to teach is equally as important as identifying when and how to teach. In today’s busy clinical environment, it is not an effective use of teaching time to attempt to teach everything within one case. Rather, an effective teacher recognizes what a student need to know and emphasizes this in a brief, simple, focused method in order to improve retention. Strive to effectively utilize varying teaching methods to accomplish this goal.

Quick Tips

  • Before each interaction with a student, determine what your teaching goal is for that encounter. Recognize that the goal may change based on the encounter.
  • Be ready to switch to a different method based on changing goals.
  • Always keep in mind the learner's preferred learning methods.

Authors: Mandi Sehgal, MD, Christine Clevenger, Ed.S.

  1. Ralhan S, Bhogal P, Bhatnagar G, et al. Effective teaching skills – how to become a better medical educator. BMJ 2012; 344:e765. 
  2. Pettit J, Rosenbaum M. Strengthening Your Teaching Toolbox. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2014