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June 1994

How to Improve Teaching on the Hospital Wards

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics Children's Hospital Medical Center 3333 Burnet Ave Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1994;148(6):652-654. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1994.02170060106022

The role of the attending physician on the hospital wards is one of the most challenging that academic physicians face. This physician is responsible for the management of the ward and the teaching program for residents and medical students. Attending rounds provides an important interface between attending physicians, residents, and students, so that those with less experience have an opportunity to learn from physicians with more experience and expertise. Even though much has been written about the ideal qualities of attending physicians, including their roles and responsibilities,1-7 the effectiveness of attending rounds as a learning experience remains uncertain in many hospitals.8-15 Although enormous hours are devoted to attending rounds each day in hospitals across this country, systematic observations about what happens on these rounds are sparse.9 Furthermore, little has been done to improve or change the teaching effectiveness of the attending physician on the hospital wards.16