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Pediatrics. 2000 Jan;105(1 Pt 3):231-7.

The search for effective and efficient ambulatory teaching methods through the literature.

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Center for Ambulatory Teaching Excellence (CATE)-Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine, and Office of Educational Services, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.



Education in ambulatory settings is characterized by the conflicting agendas of clinical efficiency and educational effectiveness. In recognition of the challenge to teach more effectively, this review was undertaken to identify literature-based teaching methods for ambulatory-based education.


Literature search resources included electronic databases and relevant journal indices. After preliminary title/abstract review, final critical review using a coding sheet was undertaken to define the teaching behavior or characteristic in each article, and to evaluate empirical data related to effectiveness and/or efficiency.


Our literature search and subsequent article analysis yielded 11 clinical teaching methods, but no agreed upon descriptor or key features for these methods. Synthesis of this literature lead to succinct descriptions of each method and a label.


There is limited evidence regarding the effectiveness of ambulatory teaching methods in cited literature. By establishing a common nomenclature and descriptions for 11 methods, this review lays the foundation for investigators to systematically study the effectiveness and efficiency of ambulatory-focused clinical teaching methods both within and across specialties.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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