Virtual Clinical Teaching for PGME preceptors

Virtual clinical teaching can involve the preceptor and resident in the same place (clinic) and the patient is in a remote location or all three parties in separate locations, where you are using either a telephone or virtual platform to connect.

The information below is curated from discussions with virtual clinical teaching pioneers, peer-reviewed papers, and physician-led resources as medical schools have worked to provide patient care and resident education during the COVID-19 pandemic. As experience accumulates and we continue to learn best practices in virtual clinical teaching alongside clinical educators, we will update this website.

Tips and suggestions for optimizing Webside Manner for residents

Session Recordings for Virtual Teaching in Clinical Environments

If you are a preceptor who is looking for support as you consider teaching in this new virtual environment, please view the appropriate recorded session below:

Resources for Virtual Teaching sessions

The guide provides simple instructions for presenters, moderators, and participants to prepare for and participate in videoconference sessions.

Click to view guide for those at UBC: VC Session Guide - with technical instructions

Click to view guide for general use, not at UBC: VC Session Guide - non-technical

This guide provides steps to map your large group session’s learning objectives/outcomes with the Bloom’s Taxonomy classifications and outlines different activities and asynchronous and synchronous tools to achieve your goals.

Click to view guide: Active learning strategies for meaningful engagement

 Watch this space for more upcoming workshops!

The sessions will be offered online with a panel presentation and plenty of time for questions and discussion.

For specific information on providing virtual patient care, technology considerations and support, and additional virtual clinical teaching resources, please see the annotated bibliography at the bottom of the page.

Providing residents with an orientation to your clinic and virtual care practices is more important than ever in this new era of virtual care. Take some time to co-create teaching and learning goals with your resident so that you have matched expectations for how you will work together in the virtual environment. Setting shared goals with your learner also makes it easier to provide feedback on the resident’s performance in the form of a dialogue of what needs to be learned and accomplished. Iterative check-ins are also important to see if both the resident and teacher’s goals are being accomplished and provide an opportunity to plan future ones.

Whatever technology and platforms you are already using are likely the best technology to teach with. Don’t overthink it. Residents will learn from you (and alongside you) and your patients about providing virtual care regardless of what technology your clinic uses. If you have specific questions about licensing requirements, and what technology platforms are available for virtual care, please visit   [i]

[i] Zoom licenses available free of charge for community providers​. DTO, in partnership with the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), is providing Zoom for Healthcare licenses to community providers (family physicians, nurse practitioners, and specialists). Please follow the above link for more information.

Observation and feedback will vary among preceptor teaching styles and clinical schedules but some suggestions based on others’ experiences involve:

  • Morning check-ins with your residents to go over the schedule, what patients you would like them to see and what their goals are for the day.
  • As you provide virtual care, the resident along with you and teach in the presence of the patient. Discuss what your role will be and what the resident’s role will be. Then you can provide feedback to resident in the presence of the patient so that you can correct the resident and educate your patient at the same time.
  • End-of-day wrap up with your learner in your clinic or virtually, depending on your situation
  • In order for your feedback to be meaningful and specific, encourage your residents to take notes throughout the day as they see patients and jot down any further questions they have and preceptors are also encouraged to take notes on residents’ general performance and related to their learning goals.

Telehealth for Teachers and Learners

Introduction to Telehealth platforms (Basics) and a Patient Encounter

See Dr. Arman Abdalkhani, Associate Director, UGME program presenting a 3-way medical student Telehealth teaching video, accompanied by a brief powerpoint.

Do you have experience teaching virtually and would like to share your experience with your peers? Write about something you have learned, a challenge you have experienced and what you did to overcome it, or a virtual clinical teaching success story, enter the details below.

  1. Virtual Care Resources

From: Doctors of BC

About: Find physician-led resources on

  • Zoom videoconferencing software, including licenses, registration, and training videos for healthcare providers.
  • Navigating the new norm, a back to practice guide with tips on how to promote virtual care visit availability and best practices for virtual care exams and proactively connecting with at-risk patients
  • Best practices for conducting group medical visits (GMV)
  • Quick start to virtual care for physicians

  1. Virtual Care Playbook for Canadian Physicians

From: Canadian Medical Association, The College of Family Physicians of Canada, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

About: This playbook was written to help Canadian physicians introduce virtual patient encounters (aka telemedicine) into their daily practices. It is intended to be virtual care platform and vendor agnostic

  1. Teaching in Turbulent Times

From: UBC Department of Family Practice, Postgraduate program  

About: FAQs on teaching during COVID-19 that offer some ideas to make teaching meaningful and manageable.

  1. The Virtual Resident: Tips and tricks for teaching in virtual care environment Webinar

From: UBC Department of Family Practice, Postgraduate program  

About: Learn from Dr. Krystine Sambor, an early adopter of virtual clinical teaching.

  1. Virtual Visit Guidelines

From: University of Saskatchewan Faculty Development

About: Best practices, guidelines, and tables for what types of patient visits are suitable for virtual care.

  1. Never too busy to learn- pandemic response

From: Royal College of Physicians – United Kingdom

About:  Tips and guidance to support the delivery of vital teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Telemedicine training in undergraduate medical education: mixed-methods review

From: S Waseh, AP Dicker. Originally published in JMIR Medical Education (, 08.04.2019.

About: This article discusses how medical schools in the United States implement telemedicine training in undergraduate medical education.

Get technical support teaching with technology from Med IT’s Educational Technology team