The Value of Bedside Rounds: A Multicenter Qualitative Study

Jed D. Gonzalo, Brian S. Heist, Briar L. Duffy, Liselotte Dyrbye, Mark J. Fagan, Gary S. Ferenchick, Heather Harrell, Paul A. Hemmer, Walter N. Kernan, Jennifer R. Kogan, Colleen Rafferty, Raymond Wong, D. Michael Elnicki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Background: Bedside rounds have decreased on teaching services, raising concern about trainees' clinical skills and patient-physician relationships. Purpose: We sought to identify recognized bedside teachers' perceived value of bedside rounds to assist in the promotion of bedside rounds on teaching services. Methods: Authors used a grounded theory, qualitative study design of telephone semistructured interviews with bedside teachers (n = 34) from 10 U.S. institutions (2010-2011). Main outcomes were characteristics of participants, themes pertaining to the perceived value of bedside rounds, and quotations highlighting each respective theme. Results: The mean years in academic medicine was 13.7, and 51% were associate or full professors. Six main themes emerged: (a) skill development for learners (e.g., physical examination, communication, and clinical decision-making skills); (b) observation and feedback; (c) role-modeling; (d) team building among trainees, attending, and patient; (e) improved patient care delivery through combined clinical decision-making and team consensus; and (f) the culture of medicine as patient-centered care, which was embodied in all themes. Conclusions: Bedside teachers identify potential benefits of bedside rounds, many of which align with national calls to change our approach to medical education. The practice of bedside rounds enables activities essential to high-quality patient care and education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-333
Number of pages8
JournalTeaching and Learning in Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding and support was provided by the Shadyside Hospital Foundation’s Thomas H. Nimick, Jr. Research Fund. Pilot results from this study were presented at the National Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) Meeting in Phoenix, AZ, in May 2011, and at the National AAMC/RIME Meeting in Denver, CO, in November 2011.

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • clinical skill development
  • graduate medical education
  • medical education
  • observation and feedback
  • patient-centered care
  • qualitative methods
  • role modeling
  • team-based care
  • undergraduate medical education


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