Having been raised at CHOP, I was faced with constant examples of what kind of educator I wanted to be “when I grew up.” Bedside teaching, although more haphazard and difficult to complete in a chaotic, busy clinical environment, gives me the most satisfaction.
What I learned from my mentors, and realized I enjoy the most, is how to teach students to organize their thoughts around a clinical presentation or chief complaint. Factoids are important, but critical thinking is, well, critical. Not only are we exchanging clinical information but, more importantly, are able to teach communication style, listening skills, and how to actually get the information we need to make a diagnosis and plan — things we cannot get from any book or online resource.
During those one-on-one dialogues in the ED, the teacher and student roles are actually more fluid, and my trainees get to keep me updated on the latest approaches and medical management protocols they are learning from my colleagues elsewhere in the hospital.
I feel similarly about teaching in a research setting — it’s all about how to help someone make their brilliant ideas feasible, digestible, and fundable!