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Optimising paediatric bedside teaching for medical students
  1. Abhishek Oswal1,
  2. Nathan Collicott2,
  3. Steve Jennings3,
  4. Alison Kelly3,4
  1. 1 Department of Paediatric Cardiology, Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals NHS Trust, London, UK
  2. 2 Department of Paediatrics, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cheltenham, UK
  3. 3 Bristol Medical School, Bristol, UK
  4. 4 University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Abhishek Oswal, Department of Paediatric Cardiology, Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals NHS Trust, London, UK; abhishekoswal{at}


Bedside teaching is a common teaching modality in undergraduate and postgraduate curricula and involves students being supervised in a clinical interaction at a patient’s bedside by a more senior clinician. Following the clinical encounter, the students and teacher discuss the case and students’ consultation skills. This is of particular value in teaching paediatrics to medical students, for whom paediatrics is an unfamiliar environment, and the approach to consultation is very different to usual adult practice. Junior doctors are often tasked with teaching medical students, either in structured bedside teaching sessions during formal teaching roles, or in ad hoc sessions with students shadowing on clinical placements. As paediatrics may be unfamiliar to the junior doctors themselves, offering teaching to medical students may cause some anxiety in their own ability and knowledge. This article provides doctors in paediatrics with an insight into the evidence base underlying paediatric bedside teaching, including model structures for bedside teaching and debriefing after the session, with the aims of improving their confidence in undertaking these sessions and improving their learners’ and their own yield of learning.

  • Paediatrics
  • Neonatology

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  • Contributors AO and NC drafted the manuscript and figures. SJ and AK provided supervision and comments on the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.