The patient panel conference experience: what patients can teach our residents about competency issues.

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The patient panel conference experience: what patients can teach our residents about competency issues.

Acad Med. 2009 Dec;84(12):1833-9

Authors: Colbert CY, Mirkes C, Cable CT, Sibbitt SJ, VanZyl GO, Ogden PE

PURPOSE: In 2007, the Scott & White/Texas A&M HSC College of Medicine began requiring all internal medicine residents to attend quarterly patient panel conferences, during which former Scott & White patients speak frankly about their inpatient and outpatient experiences. The main purpose of this mixed-methods pilot study was to determine whether residents' competency education could be enhanced via the conferences. METHOD: Of the 54 internal medicine residents in the residency program, 31, 39, and 41 participated in three patient panel conferences, respectively, between December 2007 and August 2008. Each resident completed an assessment that included a reflection on his or her own practice and the identification of competency issues highlighted by patients' oral narratives. Content analyses of responses to open-ended questions were performed. Consensus on themes was reached. Descriptive statistics were run on quantitative data. RESULTS: Six themes were identified: improve communication with patients/families, improve patient care, improve professional behaviors, empathize with patients/families, display sensitivity to patients'/families' needs/concerns, and recognize system issues. When asked if the conference highlighted competency problems, residents answered "agree" or "strongly agree" as follows: 82% for professionalism, 82.9% for systems-based practice, 85.2% for interpersonal and communication skills, and 84.4% for patient care. The majority were able to provide examples of competency issues. CONCLUSIONS: The patient panel conference experience was a powerful mechanism for enhancing competency education. The conferences were an effective means of presenting real-life examples of systems issues in the context of a hospital system.

PMID: 19940596 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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