What are the best teaching strategies or methods to use in patient care situations?
The key to successful teaching is involving the student in patient care. Our best teachers describe themselves as “coaches” and find that teaching skills are very similar to patient care skills. They use a wide range of teaching techniques. There is no single “right way” to teach but most daily teaching uses a combination of
No single strategy is ideal, each has advantages and drawbacks and all depend on continuous constructive feedback to the student. The optimal teaching strategy depends on the interaction of the student, the teacher, and the situation. In practice the choice of strategy is made so quickly that it is almost instinctive. There is seldom time to ruminate on the optimal teaching technique for a given situation!
Depending on your natural learning and teaching styles, certain teaching strategies are more comfortable and hence used more frequently than others in your practice. Using a mixture of methods makes teaching more enjoyable and is probably more effective. Each strategy can be learned and practiced.
Most teaching skills are similar or identical to skills required for patient care
You can draw on both positive and negative experiences in your own education
As residents and
students are adult learners, the role is more similar to coaching than traditional
Busy clinicians are usually proficient in at least four of the six strategies listed above. As you go through the modules, you will probably recognize things you already do in teaching. Our aims are to validate many of your current teaching practices and to provide new information you can incorporate into teaching. By combining medical education theory with practical experience, we hope to enhance your confidence as an educator and contribute to teaching being an enjoyable and worthwhile part of your practice.