Bring Back the Ward Round

Diagnosis, diagnosis, diagnosis. Both this and a previous post have made the argument that diagnostic errors should receive more attention. An important and elegant paper from previous CLAHRC WM collaborator, Wolfgang Gaissmaier,[1] shows that diagnostic accuracy is improved when medical students work in pairs. Of course, paired working is not possible most of the time, but it does suggest that opportunities for doctors to ‘put their heads together’ should be created whenever possible. The old-fashioned ward round had much to commend it.

— Richard Lilford, CLAHRC WM Director


  1. Hautz WE, Kämmer JE, Schauber SK, Spies CD, Gaissmaier W. Diagnostic Performance by Medical Students Working Individually or in Teams. JAMA. 2015; 313(3): 303-4.

3 thoughts on “Bring Back the Ward Round”

  1. It seems a pity that in hospital medicine it has been my personal observation in over 30 UK hospitals that opportunities for peer to peer post graduate training in hospital medicine have been sadly neglected.

    Years ago in Edinburgh John Scrimgeour arranged, with patient consent, for the history taking by one trainee to be videoed, followed by a group discussion of the process by colleagues. An excellent method of teaching. Yet 20 years later I was only able to do something similar for my obstetric registrar by arranging for it to be done in a Primary Health Centre with the co-operation of our far more forward looking GP colleagues.

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