Working with Senior Residents: How to get past “You’re doing great!”
This content is intended for emergency medicine faculty.
Faculty at our institution noted that it can be easy to identify and address the knowledge gaps of junior learners. However, they often find different skills are needed when precepting senior residents, a sentiment shared by faculty at other institutions.1 To foster the skills needed for lifelong learning and deliberate practice, it is crucial that educators find methods to effectively assess the skills of senior residents and provide them with continued feedback.2The goal of this faculty development session is to outline methods educators can use with senior residents to support their autonomy and independence while exploring their clinical reasoning, pushing them outside of their comfort zone, and promoting reflective and deliberate practice.2-9
By the end of the lecture, all faculty will be able to 1) describe how to use the Aunt Minnie method of precepting for senior residents, 2) list examples of ways in which they can probe the clinical reasoning of senior residents, 3) explain how to use reflective feedback techniques with senior residents, and 4) report use of the techniques discussed during this session when precepting senior residents in the emergency department.
This content is presented as a PowerPoint lecture with subsequent discussion.
A post-session survey was distributed to allow participants to evaluate the session. This survey was sent four months after the session to gauge how often participants were using the covered techniques on their clinical shifts in the interim.
The majority of survey respondents reported that they initially felt that precepting senior learners was “somewhat difficult” and that they found this session “valuable” in helping them address this challenge. Faculty reported using all of the techniques discussed in this session during their clinical shifts, but were more likely to use methods to promote clinical reasoning or reflective feedback than the Aunt Minnie method of precepting. Overall, respondents reported learning new skills during this exercise and appreciated the format which allowed them to share their own experiences of working with the senior residents and brainstorm techniques that might be useful beyond those discussed by the instructors.
This faculty development session successfully introduced emergency medicine faculty to techniques that can be used to improve feedback and assessment of senior residents. The lecture format allowed for efficient transmission of material, while several group discussions and a role-play activity allowed for integration of material and sharing of experiences. Overall this exercise was a success with faculty reporting use of several of the techniques discussed. In future iterations, it may be beneficial to integrate more role-play activities to allow participants to practice more of the skills learned in a simulated environment prior to implementing on shifts with learners.
Feedback, deliberate practice, clinical reasoning, precepting.