Research Article

Comparison between videotape and personal teaching as methods of communicating clinical skills to medical students.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 289 doi: (Published 07 July 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;289:31
  1. M A Mir,
  2. R J Marshall,
  3. R W Evans,
  4. R Hall,
  5. H L Duthie


    The efficacy of video recording in transmitting clinical knowledge and skills to medical students was tested by recording on videotape demonstrations of physical examinations given by five clinicians to a randomly selected group of 12 students (personal group) from the first clinical year and then showing these recordings, under identical conditions, to 13 students from the same year (video group). The efficacy of both the personal and video mediums in terms of whether content was retained was tested by a questionnaire completed by all students at the end of the sessions and by a structured clinical assessment in which students were asked to demonstrate some of the same clinical tasks three weeks after the demonstration. In answering the questionnaire the video group obtained a mean (SD) score of 20.8 (7.0) (maximum possible score 40), which was not significantly different from the score achieved by the personal group (17.4 (7.7)). The video group was able to reproduce 44 (10)% of the total clinical steps demonstrated and the personal group 45 (14)%. Videotaped demonstrations can be as effective as personal teaching of clinical methods, and video should be developed as a medium for first line clinical teaching.