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Just-in-time faculty development: a mobile application helps clinical teachers verify and describe clinical reasoning difficulties

Boileau, Elisabeth
St-Onge, Christina
Published in BMC Medical Education. 2019, vol. 19, no. 120, p. 1-8
Abstract Background: Although clinical teachers can often identify struggling learners readily and reliably, they can be reluctant to act upon their impressions, resulting in failure to fail. In the absence of a clear process for identifying and remediating struggling learners, clinical teachers can be put off by the prospect of navigating the politically and personally charged waters of remediation and potential failing of students. Methods: To address this gap, we developed a problem-solving algorithm to support clinical teachers from the identification through the remediation of learners with clinical reasoning difficulties, which have significant implications for patient care. Based on this algorithm, a mobile application (Pdx) was developed and assessed in two emergency departments at a Canadian university, from 2015 to 2016, using interpretive description as our research design. Semi-structured interviews were conducted before and after a three-month trial with the application. Interviews were analysed both deductively, using pre-determined categories, and inductively, using emerging categories. Results: Twelve clinical teachers were interviewed. Their experience with the application revealed their need to first validate their impressions of difficulties in learners and to find the right words to describe them before difficulties could be addressed. The application was unanimously considered helpful regarding both these aspects, while the mobile format appeared instrumental in allowing clinical teachers to quickly access targeted information during clinical supervision. Conclusions: The value placed on verifying impressions and finding the right words to pinpoint difficulties should be further explored in endeavours that aim to address the failure to fail phenomenon. Moreover, just-in-time mobile solutions, which mirror habitual clinical practices, may be used profitably for knowledge transfer in medical education, as an alternative form of faculty development.
Keywords Clinical reasoningClinical supervisionMobile technologyUnderperformance
PMID: 31039779
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Research groups Médecine interne générale et pédiatrie ambulatoires (968)
Raisonnement clinique et contextes de soin (1018)
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BOILEAU, Elisabeth, AUDETAT VOIROL, Marie-Claude, ST-ONGE, Christina. Just-in-time faculty development: a mobile application helps clinical teachers verify and describe clinical reasoning difficulties. In: BMC Medical Education, 2019, vol. 19, n° 120, p. 1-8. doi: 10.1186/s12909-019-1558-2 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:118110

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Deposited on : 2019-05-22

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