Original Article

Optimizing the Educational Value of Bedside Rounds by Exploring Perceptions of Internal Medicine Residents

Authors: Jennifer O. Spicer, MD, MPH, Danica Rockney, MD, Annie Massart, MD


Objectives: Bedside rounds provide a valuable opportunity for residents to learn vital clinical skills, yet they are increasingly being replaced by card-flip rounds in conference rooms. Residents express mixed views about the educational value of bedside rounds; however, little is known about their perspectives regarding how the structure and content of bedside rounds can be optimized for their learning. We sought to explore residents’ attitudes toward bedside rounds and perceptions regarding how to maximize their educational value.

Methods: Hospital Medicine faculty at one hospital were instructed to bedside round with their teams daily. Focus groups with residents after the rotation explored their perspectives on the educational value of bedside rounds. Thematic analysis identified modifiable factors that affected resident learning to inform future faculty development efforts.

Results: Interns described four categories of modifiable factors that impacted their learning during bedside rounds: institutional factors, such as patient geography and computer availability; rounding structure, including length of rounds, patient selection, and location of patient presentations; faculty behaviors, such as preparation for rounds, establishing explicit expectations for rounds, creating a safe learning climate, and promoting intern autonomy; and educational content, including whether it was targeted to the appropriate learner level and consisted of content appropriate for the bedside.

Conclusions: Residents outlined institutional factors that should be addressed and three high-yield content areas for faculty development programs: rounding structures, faculty behaviors, and bedside educational content. These findings helped us develop guidelines and faculty development sessions for attendings engaging in bedside rounds.

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