Hospitalist as teacher

Copyright © 2006 Society of Hospital Medicine

Hospitalist as teacher refers to specific interactions with members of the multidisciplinary care team to educate them about inpatient care plans, hospital protocols, patient safety, and evidence based clinical problem solving. As educators, hospitalists provide leadership in patient care, teach at multiple levels, and facilitate team building. Hospitalists serve as role models and teach the process of clinical decision making as a tool for future physician‐patient encounters. Hospitalists may review, modify, and promote new protocols and guidelines to implement across multiple services in the hospital. The hospitalist as teacher is a core competency essential to the process of effecting organizational change.


Hospitalists should be able to:

  • Describe adult education principles.

  • Explain the conditions that facilitate and inhibit learning.

  • Define the concept of a teachable moment.

  • Describe the process of developing a formal educational session, which may include needs assessment, determining goals and objectives, development of materials and teaching activities, and evaluation

  • Describe practical steps that may be taken to deliver dynamic presentations for multiple venues, which may include bedside teaching to trainees, small group discussions with co‐workers or managers, academic detailing for new initiatives, and didactic lectures at national meetings.

  • Describe teaching microskills, including obtaining a commitment, probing for supporting evidence, teaching general rules, reinforcing what was right, and correcting mistakes.

  • Describe the benefits and limitations of various teaching modalities.

  • Identify resources for training materials.

  • Explain how the SHM Core Competencies can be applied to curricular development.

  • Explain the role of the hospitalist as a teacher.


Hospitalists should be able to:

  • Establish a comfortable and safe learning environment.

  • Establish expectations for each teaching session and clearly articulate the objectives.

  • Effectively communicate the goals of the learning session and assess progress towards those goals.

  • Instruct at the level of learner experience and knowledge, and accommodate for learners at different levels.

  • Determine the information needs of the intended recipient and evaluate performance.

  • Tailor messages to the needs and abilities of intended recipient.

  • Structure and organize the timing and delivery of information and learning experiences to maximize comprehension.

  • Utilize adult learning principles in the development or selection of educational programs, methods and materials.

  • Use explicit and relevant language to explain clinical reasoning process for the learner, who may include patients and families.

  • Make the clinical reasoning process understandable, explicit, and relevant.

  • Promote clinical problem solving during each patient encounter.

  • Provide bedside teaching that is informative and comfortable for patients, trainees and members of the multidisciplinary care team.

  • Demonstrate effective mentoring, which may include role modeling.

  • Demonstrate procedures by explaining indications and contraindications, equipment, each sequential step in the procedure, and necessary follow‐up.

  • Demonstrate an efficient and succinct approach to clinical care.

  • Provide prompt, explicit, and action‐oriented feedback.


Hospitalists should be able to:

  • Advocate the importance of lifelong learning and mentorship.

  • Balance patient care and teaching.

  • Demonstrate concern for the privacy and dignity of the patient.

  • Adhere to time constraints.

  • Establish a trusting relationship with patients and families, medical trainees, and the multidisciplinary team.

  • Demonstrate respect for all learners at various knowledge and skill levels.

  • Promote evaluation standards that are fair and prompt and facilitate career development.

  • Appreciate the needs of the learner and the patient.

  • Project enthusiasm for the teaching role.

  • Admit the limitations of one's knowledge and respond appropriately to mistakes.

  • Encourage and provide the tools for life‐long, self‐directed learning and clinical problem solving.

  • Lead, coordinate or participate in efforts to formulate a needs assessment program for hospitalists' continued professional development.

  • Lead, coordinate and participate in educational scholarship.

  • Seek feedback on the effectiveness of instruction methods, modalities and materials.

  • Reflect on teaching moments to identify opportunities for improvement.

  • Promote evidence based information acquisition and clinical decision making.

  • Utilize the role of the hospitalist as a clinician educator to lead, coordinate or participate in quality improvement initiatives.

   Comments ()