Bringing mini-chalk talks to the bedside to enhance clinical teaching

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Medical Education Online, ISSN: 1087-2981, Vol: 22, Issue: 1

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Michael B. Pitt; Jay D. Orlander
Medicine; Social Sciences
article description
Chalk talks - where the teacher is equipped solely with a writing utensil and a writing surface - have been used for centuries, yet little has been written about strategies for their use in medical education. Structured education proximal to patient encounters (during rounds, at the bedside, or in between patients in clinic) maximizes the opportunities for clinical learning. This paper presents a strategy to bring mini-chalk talks (MCTs) to the bedside as a practical way to provide relevant clinical teaching by visually framing teachable moments. Grounded in adult learning theory, MCTs leverage teaching scripts to facilitate discussion, involve learners at multiple levels, and embrace the increased retention associated with visual aids. These authors provide specific recommendations for the design and implementation of MCT sessions including what topics work well, how to prepare, and how to involve and engage the learners.