To the Editor: Learning in the clinical setting remains central to the development of well trained health care professionals. The issue is whether that learning should occur through formal or informal learning opportunities. Westbrook and colleagues define “supervision or education” in a way that focuses mainly on formal experiences,1 possibly because trained observers could accurately classify such experiences. As noted by Brown and Arnold, much learning in the hospital setting is largely informal in nature.2 Although learning is likely to be occurring during the many discussions that junior doctors have with consultants or during the procedures they perform in an emergency department,3 it can be difficult to describe, and may not be recognised as learning by the individuals involved.4
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