Clinical teaching is teaching which takes place in a clinical context. It usually involves patients and clinical procedures, and as such, necessitates sensitivity, confidentiality and discretion.

As a clinical teacher you need to:

  • Act as a role model for students (e.g. dress appropriately, act courteously etc)
  • Clearly articulate the criteria used for student assessment
  • Clearly demonstrate and explain clinical material
  • Clearly demonstrate and explain clinical treatment techniques
  • Demonstrate how theoretical knowledge can be applied in a clinical situation
  • Monitor students clinical progress regularly, critically and constructively
  • Encourage students to develop rapport and empathy with the patient and/or his or her family.

Clinical teaching often involves presentation of a case, assessment and discussion of the case.
As a clinical teacher it is important that you:

  • Encourage students to present the facts of the case to you (without you intervening to offer a diagnosis)
  • Encourage students to explain the rational behind their thinking (you can probe this through the use of ‘what’ and ‘why’ questions)
  • Provide general rules targeted to the learner’s level of understanding (for example, ‘When this happens, do this...")
  • Tell them what they did right
  • Correct their mistakes in a constructive manner.