Zeshan Qureshi, Simon Maxwell
Though a diverse array of teaching methods is now available, bedside teaching is arguably the most favoured. Students like it because it is patient-centred, and it includes a high proportion of relevant skills. It is on the decline, coinciding with declining clinical skills of junior doctors. Several factors might account for this: busier hospitals, broader roles of clinicians, competing teaching modalities, and the limited training of clinicians as medical educators.
However, bedside teaching offers unique benefits. Students gain firsthand experience of the doctor patient relationship. They see the process of interacting with patients, investigative yet sensitive, demystified. Certain clinical skills, like the recognition of the tactile sensation of hepatosplenomegaly cannot be simulated elsewhere.