Advantages and Perspectives of Teaching in Outpatient Clinics: A Systematic Review


Although the number of patients seen in outpatient clinics far surpasses those managed in inpatient settings, many medical training programs lack outpatient clinic teaching initiatives. Thus, we have conducted a systematic review of the literature in order to raise awareness of the important role that outpatient clinics can play in enhancing medical education, and to assess current perspectives on improving outpatient training. Our analysis reveals that outpatient clinics can offer an efficient and holistic view of patient care, while covering a wide range of general and specialty medical practices. Moreover, several fundamental skills can be acquired by students in outpatient clinics, which effectively combine elements encountered in routine ward-based teaching (etiology, history, physical examination, laboratory tests, and therapy) with those found in ambulatory care (continuity, context, health education, economics, and responsibility). Approaches to teaching in an outpatient setting vary greatly, with extensive differences in levels of supervision and feedback evident. It is clear that, at present, there is no general consensus on the best strategy for realizing the potential of outpatient clinics in the training of students and junior doctors. With the changing face of health systems, the identification of methods by which maximal benefits of this setting can be achieved would be highly advantageous for future medical trainees.

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Almoallim, H. , Minguet, J. , Albazli, K. , Alotaibi, M. , Alwafi, S. and Feteih, M. (2015) Advantages and Perspectives of Teaching in Outpatient Clinics: A Systematic Review. Creative Education, 6, 1782-1789. doi: 10.4236/ce.2015.616181.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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