Course Information

CAES9740 English for Clinical Clerkships

Coordinator: Laura WAKELAND


This course has the overall aim of preparing fourth-year MBBS students to meet the communicative demands of clinical clerkships. The main strands of the course include oral and written patient case presentations, and seminar presentations on ethics in clinical practice. As part of the extended learning goals of these strands, students will practise communicating differential diagnoses, justifying treatment or management plans, and clinical correspondence skills for referrals and medical reports. Where relevant, there will also be extended opportunities created to provide practice in communicating with non-Cantonese speaking patients in English. The course will be delivered through a variety of in-class activities such as group discussion and simulations, practice tasks and study of language in context. The out-of-class learning component of the course will supplement the main course aims by consolidating students’ understanding of the genre of patient case histories through reading and viewing of relevant materials, peer evaluation and / or self reflective activities. Students will also be introduced to vocabulary building strategies in relation to medical terminology and provided with opportunities for online practise in order to further their understanding in this area.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate synthesis and coherence in written and oral presentations of patient case histories, apply the common conventions of the genre, and communicate degree of likelihood that matches their diagnostic judgment
  • Apply clinical correspondence skills to writing referrals and medical reports
  • Identify and analyse medical ethical issues arising from a clinical case, and present the analysis collaboratively in a seminar setting
  • Critically reflect on their own communicative performance across a range of tasks in terms of genre, purpose and audience needs


  • Developing accuracy and concision for oral and written patient histories)
  • Group collaboration in research and discussion)
  • Developing effective presentation skills to inform and engage a target audience)
  • Critically reflecting on experience in bedside teaching and writing up this reflection using genre features of reflective writing)

Assessment Methods:

(with breakdown of percentage weighting of the various methods)

  • Oral Presentations (30%)
  • Other genres of writing (20%)
  • Tutorial discussions (4-Year Only) (30%)
  • Essays (20%)