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Workplace learning

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      Abstract

      This critical review found Dutch research to be strong at the undergraduate and residency levels and more or less absent in continuing medical education. It confirms the importance of coaching medical students, giving constructive feedback, and ensuring practice environments are conducive to learning though it has proved hard to improve them. Residents learn primarily from experiences encountered in the course of clinical work but the fine balance between delivering clinical services and learning can easily be upset by work pressure. More intervention studies are needed. Qualitative research designs need to be more methodologically sophisticated and use a wider range of data sources including direct observation, audio-diaries, and text analysis. Areas for improvement are clear but achieving results will require persistence and patience.

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      Most cited references 35

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      Informal learning in the workplace

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        Experience-based learning: a model linking the processes and outcomes of medical students' workplace learning.

        To develop a model linking the processes and outcomes of workplace learning. We synthesised a model from grounded theory analysis of group discussions before and after experimental strengthening of medical students' workplace learning. The research was conducted within a problem-based clinical curriculum with little early workplace experience, involving 24 junior and 12 senior medical students. To reach their ultimate goal of helping patients, medical students must develop 2 qualities. One is practical competence; the other is a state of mind that includes confidence, motivation and a sense of professional identity. These 2 qualities reinforce one another. The core process of clinical workplace learning involves 'participation in practice', which evolves along a spectrum from passive observation to performance. Practitioners help students participate by being both supportive and challenging. The presentation of clear learning objectives and continuous periods of attachment that are as personal to the student(s) and practitioner(s) as possible promote workplace learning. The core condition for clinical workplace learning is 'supported participation', the various outcomes of which are mutually reinforcing and also reinforce students' ability to participate in further practice. This synthesis has 2 important implications for contemporary medical education: any reduction in medical students' participation in clinical practice that results from the patient safety agenda and expanded numbers of medical students is likely to have an adverse effect on learning, and the construct of 'self-directed learning', which our respondents too often found synonymous with 'lack of support', should be applied with very great caution to medical students' learning in clinical workplaces.
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          Opportunity or threat: the ambiguity of the consequences of transitions in medical education.

          The alleged medical education continuum is interrupted by a number of major transitions. After starting medical school, the first transition students encounter is that from non-clinical to clinical training. The second transition is that of graduated student to junior doctor or specialist trainee, and the third concerns the specialist trainee's transition to medical specialist. As a first step towards a better understanding of the effects of transitions, this paper provides a critical overview of how these transitions have been conceptualised in the medical education domain. The findings are complemented with perspectives from the fields of transitional psychology and organisational socialisation. The transition into medical school is not reviewed. Using the term 'transition', six leading medical education journals were searched for relevant articles. A snowballing technique on the reference lists of the 44 relevant articles yielded 29 additional publications. Studies were reviewed and categorised as representing objectifying, clarifying, or descriptive and/or justifying research. When students enter clinical training, they need to relearn what they thought they knew and they must learn new things in a more self-directed way. As junior doctors or specialist trainees, their main challenges involve handling the many responsibilities that accompany the delivery of patient care while simultaneously learning from the process of providing that care. As medical specialists, new non-medical tasks and decisions on how to delegate responsibilities become issues. Research on transitions has objectified the challenges students and doctors face. Clarifying studies often lack conceptual frameworks that could help us to gain deeper insight into the observed phenomena. Psychology offers valuable theoretical perspectives that are applicable to medical education transitions. To transform a transition from a threat to a learning opportunity, medical education should assist students and doctors in developing the coping skills they need to effectively deal with the challenges presented by new environments. © Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2010.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            Department of Educational Development and Research, Maastricht University, PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
            Contributors
            +31-43-388-5726 , t.dornan@maastrichtuniversity.nl,
            Journal
            Perspect Med Educ
            Perspect Med Educ
            Perspectives on Medical Education
            Bohn Stafleu van Loghum (Heidelberg )
            2212-2761
            2212-277X
            7 February 2012
            7 February 2012
            March 2012
            : 1
            : 1
            : 15-23
            23316455
            3540354
            5
            10.1007/s40037-012-0005-4
            © The Author(s) 2012
            Categories
            Review Article
            Custom metadata
            © the authors 2012

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