5 Teaching Methods That Are Beneficial to Medical Students

5 Teaching Methods That Are Beneficial to Medical Students
  • Opening Intro -

    If you're a healthcare educator, you can frequently interchange teaching techniques to make learning effective and appealing.

    Note that teaching strategies that worked a decade ago might be ineffective to your students due to factors such as learning and generational preferences.


Despite traditional teaching techniques such as lectures having numerous advantages, they only give students a passive, non-participatory, and information-receiving role. It means that although lectures expose students to information, this mode of teaching denies students the opportunity to process and synthesis information.

Consider selecting teaching methods that align with your students’ preferences such as visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learning. Below are five effective teaching techniques to ensure your medical students remain engaged.

Clinical Simulation

Clinical simulation is increasingly becoming one of the most preferred techniques of supplementing clinical education among medical students. You can stimulate clinical situations for both learning and teaching purposes, providing an opportunity for practice of new clinical skills and knowledge without experimenting with real patients.

Simulations come in different forms, ranging from simple models to complex, computerized mannequins to target students’ needs at each stage of their learning. If you decide to use clinical simulation, ensure it’s integrated into your teaching pedagogy in a manner that promotes knowledge and skills transfer to clinical practice.

For learning and teaching, clinical simulation is made possible using simulated patients, full-body mannequins, and computer-generated mannequins.

Concept Maps

Utilize concept mapping to cover knowledge application, content acquisition, and continuous assessment. Concept maps are perfect teaching tools for visual learners because they can refer to them later, improving their concept mastery.

For complex ideas, concept mapping illustrates simplified relationships between various concepts. This mapping helps learners understand connections between concepts and connect newly learnt ideas to existing knowledge.

Use concept mapping to help your students organize their ideas in a logical format allowing them to synthesize new information easily. Through concept mapping, students can fill in any missing ideas and improve their critical thinking skills.

Medical Animations

For complex medical concepts, deliver teaching using 3D medical animation that is visually appealing to capture your students’ attention. Similar to mannequins used in simulations, these 3D visualizations are ideal teaching tools for medical students since they can practice with highly-detailed animations before performing medical procedures on a real patient.

In medical courses, it’s difficult to verbalize medical procedures and diagrams might be insufficient to explain steps in medical procedures. Since visual perception is crucial in the medical course, it’s important to use 3D animations to demonstrate procedures for students to have the feel of tending to a patient or performing surgery with minimal medical error risks.


Use dramatization where your students take up patient and physician roles, turn-taking in a given unscripted clinical scenario. Role-playing is perfect when teaching communication in medical courses. It also enables students to learn to deal with conflict and practice communication skills in a clinical setting.

This form of dramatization can be effective for creating cultural awareness since it allows students to reflect on cultural differences among patients. Ensure that you establish and communicate the activity’s goals before the commencement of any role-playing activity.

After each role-playing activity, debrief and discuss the activity and the different perspectives of individual characters. With debriefing, you can provide constructive criticism and feedback to learners.

other valuable tips:

Questioning Tactics

Questions are an excellent way for your students to improve their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Integrate questioning tactics to promote active learning, where the learner is both the giver and receiver of information.

Questions encourage student involvement, an important factor of active learning. Note that for every question you pose to your students, as an educator, you can easily evaluate if students mastered the concept. That way, you are better placed to know the concepts that individual students find complex and come up with remedial ways to ensure that students comprehend complex concepts.

Invest in active learning techniques such as simulation, 3D animations, role-playing, concept mapping, and questioning tactics to empower your students to recall large amounts of medical information they encounter throughout their course.

Use teaching techniques that help your students retain knowledge and see them graduate with the skills and knowledge necessary to be effective medical practitioners in today’s demanding patient care settings.

Image Credit: teaching methods by Pixabay

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Categories: Education Tips