Residents As Teachers - Common Teaching Mistakes - Miatake 1: Just Ask Students, "Do You Understand?"


Mistake 1: Just Ask Students, "Do You Understand?"


Ask students to demonstrate their understanding – it may involve asking students to perform a procedure, or asking students to summarize a concept.

Another alternative is to present a similar case for students to analyze. Can they identify and/or describe critical elements? Do they demonstrate understanding of the concepts/issues?


Your tasks:

Pick a day when a student is present, and note what types of questions you ask students:

What type of information are you soliciting from students:

  • Fact-based questions – What are the 3 causes of x?
  • Questions requiring students to process information – What type of management plan would you recommend for this patient? or Describe your differential to me, and your rationale for the most likely diagnosis..

Are you only asking certain types of questions, e.g. only fact based questions?
As students progress in their level of understanding, it is important to ask more process questions.
Read the article, Educational Strategies to Promote Clinical Diagnostic Reasoning by Judith L. Bowen, MD in the New England Journal.