Medical Faculty and Medical Student Opinions on the Utility of Questions to Teach and Evaluate in the Clinical Environment

Lloyd Rucker, Garrett Rucker, Angelica Nguyen, Maria Noel, Maria Marroquin, Elani Streja, Eileen Hennrikus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: We sought to report medical student and faculty perceptions of the purpose and utility of questions on clinical rounds. Methods: We developed and administered a survey to third and fourth-year medical students and teaching physicians. The survey elicited attitudes about using questions to teach on rounds in both benign and malignant learning environments. Results: Ninety-seven percent of faculty and 85% of students predicted they will use questions to teach. Nine percent of students described learning-impairing stress during benign bedside teaching. Fifty-nine percent of faculty felt questions were mostly for teaching; 74% of students felt questions were mostly for evaluation. Forty-six percent of students felt questions underestimated their knowledge. Students felt questions were more effective for classroom teaching than bedside teaching. Faculty and students agreed that a malignant environment detrimentally affected learning and performance. Conclusions: Students and faculty supported the use of questions to teach and evaluate, especially in benign teaching environments. Many students described stress severe enough to affect their learning and performance, even when questioned in benign teaching environments. Faculty underestimated the degree to which students experience stress-related learning impairment and the degree to which students see questions as evaluation rather than teaching. Nearly half of students felt that questions underestimated their own knowledge. Students feel more stress and less learning when questioned with a patient present. Faculty must realize that even in the best learning environment some students experience stress-impaired learning and performance, perhaps because of the conflict between learning and evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-678
Number of pages10
JournalMedical Science Educator
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Education


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