Twelve tips for educating tomorrow’s clinical educators today: A proactive approach to clinical education (PACE)


  • Keri Moore Southern Cross University
  • Louise Horstmanshof Souther Cross University



clinical educators, future workforce, work-based learning, clinical supervision, agency


Teaching the next generation of health workers is considered a core role for all clinicians, yet in practice it is often regarded as an optional activity. While health professionals are expected to teach, many are reluctant to attend faculty development initiatives that provide the training. There are many and varied reasons for this: lack of personal motivation or support from managers to undertake additional education in clinical education, staff shortages and, perhaps, a misunderstanding of the expectations of today’s professionals. Moreover, position descriptions of clinicians seldom include a role and responsibility to educate. Thus clinicians who do undertake additional formal education to provide clinical education may have limited opportunities for promotion after making such an effort. An adjustment to pre-registration clinical curricula that highlights the importance of and focuses on developing competence, capacity and capability in clinical education may be the key. This paper presents a “12 tips” framework to embed a proactive approach to learning clinical education skills (PACE) into a program of study. The 12 tips of PACE propose how, from the beginning of their undergraduate practicum experiences, pre-registration learners can be prepared to take up their professional responsibilities as clinical educators. The PACE framework can also be applied to the post-registration curriculum. The PACE model has the potential to both strengthen the skill base and increase the size of the clinical education workforce by including clinical education skills as an integral part of all clinical training. 


Abdool, M. A., & Bradley, D. (2013). Twelve tips to improve medical teaching rounds. Medical Teacher, 35, 895–899.

Amorosa, J. M. H., Mellman, L. A., & Graham, M. J. (2011). Medical students as teachers: How preclinical teaching opportunities can create an early awareness of the role of physician as teacher. Medical Teacher, 33, 137–144.

Asnani, M. R. (2009). Patient–physician communication. West Indian Medical Journal, 58(4), 357–361.

Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. (2014). Code of conduct: Osteopathy. Retrieved from Guidelines/Code-of-conduct.aspx

Australian Medical Association. (2006). Australian Medical Association code of ethics. Retrieved from editorially-revised-2006 (Original work published 2004)

Bannard-Smith, J., Bishop, S., Gawne, S., & Halder, N. (2012). Twelve tips for junior doctors interested in a career in medical education. Medical Teacher, 34(12), 1012– 1016. doi:10.3109/0142159X.2012.731103

Beckman, T. J., & Lee, M. C. (2009). Proposal for a collaborative approach to clinical teaching. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 84(4), 339–344. doi:10.1016/S0025- 6196(11)60543-0

Blaschke, L. M. (2012). Heutagogy and lifelong learning: A review of heutagogical practice and self-determined learning. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 13(1), 56–71.

Bloom, B. S., Mesia, B. B., & Krathwohl, D. R. (1964). Taxonomy of educational objectives (Vol. 1). New York, NY: David McKay.

Brown, G. I. (1971). Human teaching for human learning. New York, NY: Viking Press.

Challis, M. (2000). AMEE medical education guide no. 19: Personal learning plans. Medical Teacher, 22(3), 225–236.

Cutting, M. F., & Saks, N. S. (2012). Twelve tips for utilizing principles of learning to support medical education. Medical Teacher, 34, 20–24.

Dahlstrom, J., Dorai-Raj, A., McGill, D., Owen, C., Kathleen, T., & Watson, D. A. R. (2005). What motivates senior clinicians to teach medical students? BMC Medical Education, 5(27), 1–10.

Dennick, R. (2012). Twelve tips for incorporating educational theory into teaching practices. Medical Teacher, 34, 618–624.

Eberle, J. (2009, October). Heutagogy: What your mother didn’t tell you about pedagogy and the conceptual age. Paper presented at the Eighth Annual European Conference on e-Learning, Bari, Italy.

Epstein, R. M., & Hundert, E. M. (2002). Defining and assessing professional competence. Journal of the American Medical Association, 287(2), 226–235.

Facione, P. A., Giancarlo, C. A., Facione, N. C., & Gainen, J. (1995). The disposition toward critical thinking. Journal of General Education, 44(1), 1–25.

Frank, J. R., Snell, L. S., Cate, O. T., Holmboe, E. S., Carraccio, C., Swing, S. R., . . . Dath, D. (2010). Competency-based medical education: Theory to practice. Medical Teacher, 32(8), 638–645.

Glass, N. (2010). Interpersonal relating: Health care perspectives on communication, stress and crisis. South Yarra, Australia: Palgrave Macmillan.

Gruppen, L. D., Mangrulkar, R. S., & Kolars, J. C. (2012). The promise of competency-based education in the health professions for improving global health. Human Resources for Health, 10(1), 43.

Hase, S., & Kenyon, C. (2000). From andragogy to heutagogy. Ultibase Articles, 5(3), 1–10.

Hays, R. (2006). Teaching and learning in clinical settings. Oxon, UK: Radcliffe.

Health Workforce Australia (HWA). (2014). National clinical supervision competency resource. Retrieved from supervision-support-program/national-clinical-supervision-competency-resource

Higgs, J., Ajjawi, R., McAllister, L., & Trede, F. (2008). Communicating in the health sciences (2nd ed.). Melbourne, Victoria, Australia: Oxford University Press.

Irby, D. M. (2014). Excellence in clinical teaching: Knowledge transformation and development required. Medical Education, 48, 776–784.

Kirkham, D., & Baker, P. (2012). Twelve tips for running teaching programmes for newly qualified doctors. Medical Teacher, 34(8), 625–630. doi:10.3109/014215 9X.2012.668243

Merriam, S. B. (2001). Andragogy and self-directed learning: Pillars of adult learning theory. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 2001(89), 3–14.

Miller, C. (2010). Improving and enhancing performance in the affective domain of nursing students: Insights from the literature for clinical educators. Contemporary Nurse: A Journal for the Australian Nursing Profession, 35(1), 2–17. doi:10.5172/ conu.2010.35.1.002

Pratt, D. D., Harris, P., & Collins, J. B. (2009). The power of one: Looking beyond the teacher in clinical instruction. Medical Teacher, 31(2), 133–137. doi:10.1080/01421590802206721

Richards, J., Sweet, L., & Billett, S. (2013). Preparing medical students as agentic learners through enhancing student engagement in clinical education. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 14(4), 251–263.

Shepard, M. E., Sastre, E. A., Davidson, M. A., & Fleming, A. E. (2012). Use of individualized learning plans among fourth-year sub-interns in pediatrics and internal medicine. Medical Teacher, 34(1), e46–e51. doi:10.3109/014215 9X.2012.638013

Sherbino, J., Frank, J. R., & Snell, L. (2014). Defining the key roles and competencies of the clinician–educator of the 21st century: A national mixed- methods study. Academic Medicine, 89(5), 1–7.

Sibbald, M., De Bruin, A. B. H., & Van Merrienboer, J. J. G. (2014). Twelve tips on engaging learners in checking health care decisions. Medical Teacher, 36(2), 111–115.

Smith-Stoner, M. (1999). Critical thinking activities for nursing. New York, NY: Lippincott Raven.

Smith, K. L., Petersen, D. J., Soriano, R., Friedman, E., & Bensinger, L. D. (2007). Training tomorrow’s teachers today: A national medical student teaching and leadership retreat. Medical Teacher, 29(4), 328–334. doi:10.1080/01421590701316530

Wangensteen, S., Johansson, I. S., Björkström, M. E., & Nordström, G. (2010). Critical thinking dispositions among newly graduated nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 66(10), 2170–2181. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2010.05282.x

World Health Organization (WHO). (2011). WHO patient safety curriculum guide: Multi-professional edition. Retrieved from education/curriculum/tools-download/en/