The resident is a central figure in the education of medical students and other residents. In order to examine the ways in which residents fulfill their teaching responsibilities, the authors observed 14 first- and second-year internal medicine residents as they reviewed a total of 158 cases during work rounds. Inpatient work rounds were selected for study because in this setting an attending faculty member is not present and the resident bears total responsibility for initiating any teaching that occurs. The results of the study indicated that the most frequently observed teaching behaviors were associated with patient care at the bedside: providing a model of appropriate interaction with patients and verifying clinical findings. Away from the bedside, the residents frequently used brief lectures to teach. The least frequently observed teaching behaviors involved referring to the literature, giving feedback, demonstrating techniques and procedures, and asking questions. Following these observations, the authors initiated a course on clinical teaching for residents.
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