Fromme HB, Bhansali P, Singhal G, Yudkowsky R, Humphrey H, Harris I. The Qualities and Skills of Exemplary Pediatric Hospitalist Educators: A Qualitative Study. Academic Medicine 2010; 85:1905-1913.
Reviewed by: Susan Bannister, MD, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB
What was the study question? What are the qualities and skills of exemplary pediatric hospitalist educators?
How was the study done? A prospective, multi-institution qualitative study was performed. Pediatric hospitalists who were identified as exemplary were interviewed. Focus groups were conducted with trainees who had recently worked with these faculties.
What are the results? Four themes were identified: teaching skills, personal qualities, patient care skills, and role modeling. Residents and medical students differed in the importance they placed on certain skills. Residents stressed teaching skills and encouraging autonomy while medical students placed more importance on personal qualities (supportive, caring, providing feedback).
What are the implications of these findings? Role modeling was a newly identified quality or skill for exemplary educators that was as important as teaching, personal qualities (enthusiasm, empathy, insight), and patient care skills. This study may assist preceptors in focusing on different things with different levels of trainees - encouraging autonomy with residents and assisting medical students in adjusting to a new learning environment.
While this study focused on hospital pediatricians, the qualities and skills identified among this group of exemplary educators are probably similar to exemplary educators in other fields of medicine. This study may assist those in planning faculty development.