Med Teach. 2021 May;43(5):560-566. doi: 10.1080/0142159X.2021.1877267. Epub 2021 Feb 11.
BACKGROUND: Even though ward rounds are important learning opportunities for medical students, unfavourable ward round scripts of students and physicians may hinder learning in such situations. We investigated medical students' and physicians' ward round scripts with respect to (a) the content focus of ward round activities, and (b) the potential of these activities for knowledge construction.
METHODS: We conducted standardized interviews with 50 medical students and physicians in internal medicine at different expertise stages. Activities participants labelled as typical for ward rounds were coded with respect to their content focus and their potential with regard to knowledge construction.
RESULTS: Regarding content focus, especially residents mainly named activities bound to patient care. Teaching- and learning-related activities were very rare, but more frequently mentioned by students and more experienced physicians. With respect to potential for knowledge construction, students regarded significantly more passive activities (= low potential for knowledge construction) as typical for ward rounds, especially when they described their own role.
CONCLUSIONS: Medical students should be supported in their development of conceiving ward rounds as valuable learning opportunities. Residents should be asked to take their teaching responsibility seriously, for example by demanding an active engagement of the students during ward rounds.