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Medical students' perceptions of bedside teaching

Gray, David; Cozar, Octavian; Lefroy, Janet

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David Gray

Octavian Cozar


Bedside teaching is recognised as a valuable tool in medical education by both students and faculty members. Bedside teaching is frequently delivered by consultants; however, junior doctors are increasingly engaging in this form of clinical teaching, and their value in this respect is becoming more widely recognised. The aim of this study was to supplement work completed by previous authors who have begun to explore students’ satisfaction with bedside teaching, and their perceptions of the relationship with the clinical teachers. Specifically, we aimed to identify how students perceive bedside teaching delivered by junior doctors compared with consultants.

We aimed to identify how students perceived bedside teaching delivered by junior doctors compared with consultants

A questionnaire was distributed to all third-year medical students at Keele University via e–mail. Responses were submitted anonymously.

Forty-six students responded (37.4%), 73.3 per cent of whom said that they felt more comfortable having bedside teaching delivered by junior doctors than by consultants. Consultants were perceived as more challenging by 60 per cent of respondents. Students appeared to value feedback on their performance, trust the validity of taught information, and to value the overall educational experience equally, regardless of the clinical grade of the teacher.

Student preference does not equate to the value that they place on their bedside teaching. Junior doctors are perceived as being more in touch with students and the curriculum, whereas consultants are perceived as having higher expectations and as being both stricter and more knowledgeable. The clinical teacher's approachable manner and enthusiasm for teaching are more important than clinical grade, as is the ability to deliver well-structured constructive feedback.


Gray, D., Cozar, O., & Lefroy, J. (2017). Medical students' perceptions of bedside teaching. Clinical Teacher, 14(3), 205-210.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 4, 2016
Publication Date 2017-06
Publicly Available Date May 26, 2023
Journal The Clinical Teacher
Print ISSN 1743-4971
Publisher Wiley
Volume 14
Issue 3
Pages 205-210
Publisher URL


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