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Med Educ. 2002 Dec;36(12):1185-8.

What is happening to bedside clinical teaching?

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Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia.



Bedside clinical teaching, an essential component of clinical training, was widely practised during the 1960s and early 1970s but has since declined substantially.


To highlight the importance of bedside teaching, giving examples of its significance, and to discuss the factors that have led to its decline.


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There is much that can be gained from teaching at the bedside. It allows trainees to learn professionalism and to grasp the principles of communication with real patients. Unfortunately, the medical profession, like other fields of endeavour, has been invaded by computer technology. This has led to a decline in the frequency of bedside teaching and thus inflicted serious damage on the attainment of clinical skills by young doctors, despite their continuing interest in bedside teaching. Moreover, the increasing clinical, administrative and research duties of senior doctors have further contributed to this decline.


Every effort should be made to reinstate bedside teaching as a leading component of medical training.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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