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Medical ward rounds

A practical guide to maximise learning opportunities

  • By: Reuben Arasaratnam
  • Published: 01 March 2009
  • DOI: 10.1136/sbmj.b576
  • Cite this as: Student BMJ 2009;17:b576

Aching feet from walking around the medical wards? Wondering what to write in a patient’s notes? Are you desperate for a coffee break? Ward rounds constitute a major part of a student attachment in general medicine. They are a great opportunity to improve your skills in history taking, practise examining patients, and develop your ability in clinical reasoning. Furthermore, time spent on ward rounds improves your professional skills such as teamwork and communication.1 Here are some practical suggestions to help you learn and enjoy your time.

Not all ward rounds are the same. Understanding the types of ward rounds can help you use a variety of different learning opportunities.2

In a hospital, ward rounds take place in a number of different settings. Patients who are newly admitted are placed in an acute admission ward. Post-take ward rounds often take place there unless the patient has been moved quickly to another

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