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Clinical settings are optimal for teaching and learning medicine because the learning context links directly to the process of providing care, thereby enhancing the relevance of the material to be learned. Multiple levels of learning also can be addressed, from a basic, factual understanding to more complex concepts of differential diagnoses and care management.
Clinical settings also provide many challenges:
They are fluid settings in which to teach patient care issues are often highly variable from one patient to the next, and consequently, students' understanding may also be highly variable.
Even high-functioning learners may need more remedial approaches when encountering patients with unfamiliar medical issues.
Time constraints are often a factor in clinical settings, highlighting the need for efficient assessment and teaching approaches.
Before proceeding, take a moment to view the following video and consider these questions:
- What are your overall impressions of this precepting encounter?
- How might the learning experience in this encounter be better optimized?
- Do you have sense of the learner's clinical decision-making ability after watching the video? If you need to, watch it again and note the type of information the learner addresses.
- Who is active and who is passive in making patient care decisions in this scenario?
- Is the learner likely to leave this encounter with any sense of her abilities or what she might need to improve?
The following section will describe 5 Precepting Microskills that you can utilize to help you precept more effectively.