Improving Teaching in the Clinic with tablet devices.

By Dr. Karl Golnik

Teaching in the outpatient clinic is one of the most effective ways to ensure learning

occurs. The resident is highly engaged in the process of evaluating patients and actively synthesizing information to achieve a differential diagnosis. However, it can be difficult to provide effective teaching because residents and teaching faculty tend to busy in their attempts to care for the many patients seen in one day. Thus, I always try and sit down at lunch and at the end of the day to discuss at least several

interesting patients seen throughout the course of the day. Additionally, I try and make important points throughout the day as patients are evaluated.

I find my tablet device to be a useful adjunct to my clinical teaching. I store all my clinical photographs (e.g. optic discs, MRIs) and videos (e.g. pupils, eye movements) on the tablet. As it is immediately ready, little time is spent demonstrating key findings and showing other examples of the entities encountered in clinic on any day.

Residents find it is valuable to see other examples of the same entity or photos/videos of conditions in the differential diagnosis of the clinical findings at hand. This approach could be accomplished with a laptop computer as well but the immediacy and portability of the tablet makes this an ideal technology for improving teaching and learning in the clinic.

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