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Teaching Tips

Clinical Teaching Tips- The One Minute Preceptor


Looking for a time-efficient and effective way to teach in the clinical setting? Try the One Minute Preceptor. In this model, the preceptor listens to the case presentation and avoids interruptions. When the learner finishes the history, physical and data presentation, the preceptor begins the teaching encounter using these five steps:

  1. Get a commitment: “What do you think is going on?” “What do you want to do next?” These simple questions set the stage for an interactive learning environment and engage the learner.

  2. Probe for supporting evidence: “What else did you consider?” “How did you rule those things out?” These questions assess the learner’s level of knowledge and thinking process. This allows you to get an understanding of their underlying clinical reasoning in addition to medical knowledge. The purpose is to identify the learning gap- what is it that they don’t know that I can teach them?

  3. Teach a general principle: This can be about symptoms, physical findings, differential diagnosis, evaluation, treatment, resources and more. The general principle should be based on the gap that was identified through questioning. Teaching a general principle or a way of approaching a problem is more effective than teaching isolated facts. It allows the learner to organize their knowledge and generalize it for future situations.

  4. Reinforce what was done well: “Your presentation was well-organized and concise.” This reinforces good behaviors and encourages learners to continue using them.

  5. Give guidance about errors or omissions: “It is important to include cardiac risk factors in your presentation when you are presenting a case of chest pain.” This helps correct mistakes and forms the foundation for improvement.
For additional tips, remember that the Academy of Medical Educators offers regular workshops, online modules and videos of prior sessions. Click here for more information.​