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The Resident in Difficulty. University of BC Faculty of Medicine Department of Family Practice Post Graduate Program Written by Dr. Ken Harder December 2006. Goals of this module. Identify the resident in difficulty. Define the difficulties residents may have.

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the resident in difficulty

The Resident in Difficulty

University of BC

Faculty of Medicine

Department of Family Practice

Post Graduate Program

Written by Dr. Ken Harder December 2006

goals of this module
Goals of this module
  • Identify the resident in difficulty.
  • Define the difficulties residents may have.
  • Provide a framework for planning help.
  • Understand the failure, remediation and probation process.
task 1 identify the resident in difficulty
Task #1: Identify the Resident in Difficulty
  • What do we mean by “The resident in difficulty”
  • Divide into groups of 2 to 4 and, in five minutes come to a consensus.
our working definition of the resident in difficulty
Our working definition of “The resident in difficulty”

“A learner with academic performance that is significantly below that expected because of an affective, cognitive, structural, or interpersonal difficulty.”

(Quirk, 1994)

if a resident makes you feel

If a resident makes you feel…






There may be a problem.

categories of difficulty
Categories of Difficulty
  • Affective
  • Interpersonal
  • Structural
  • Cognitive
  • Personal situations
  • Psychological states: low esteem, feelings of being overwhelmed, guilt, fear of failure, depression, anxiety, etc.
  • Feeling bad and performing badly
  • Avoidance of learning, failure to perform, withdrawal.
  • What situations have you encountered?
interpersonal 1
Interpersonal #1
  • Learners have difficulty interacting with others
  • Personal characteristics:
    • Shy or non-assertive
    • Poor social skills
    • Manipulative
    • aggressive
interpersonal 2
Interpersonal #2
  • Professional behaviors
  • Teamwork
  • Prejudices – racial, ethnic, gender
  • Honesty
  • Ethical integrity
  • Learners who are unable to structure their experiences in their environment.
    • Poor time management
    • Lack of organizational skills
    • Poor study discipline
    • Excessive demands
  • Poor fund of knowledge
  • Spatial perceptual problems
  • Oral communication
    • ESL (English as a second language)
    • Poor Interviewing skills
  • Poor integration of material
  • Learning disabilities
  • Written communication
    • Reading problems
    • Writing problems
  • Please review the Resident Benchmarks and the Bordage Stages of Knowledge development at:
  • To understand what skills and knowledge your resident is expected to have

Specify the problem

Target / goals

Plan and procedures

s tp task 2 specify what the problem is
STPTask #2 Specify what the problem is
  • Take five minutes in your small groups to discuss:
    • Who should be involved
    • When should the problem should be dealt with
    • Why it is important for you to deal with this problem
    • How should a problem be approached
s tp specify the problem
STPSpecify the problem
  • Gather and document information – how does the learner fall short?
  • Perception vs. reality
  • Consider the learner, preceptor and the learning environment.
  • Always be aware of confidentiality
  • Use a Team approach
  • Document, document, document.
s t p target goals
STPTarget / Goals
  • Discussion, feedback, goal setting
  • Resident driven, program directed
  • Document everything
these are a variety of interventions that might be appropriate
These are a variety of interventions that might be appropriate.
  • Discuss as a group possible interventions for dealing with a resident having difficulty.
    • Use examples from your own practice
    • Do you have some teaching “pearls” that have worked for you in a difficult situation?
st p possible interventions
Further assessment

More time on rotation

Schedule change

Increased observation and feedback

Peer support


Leave of absence

Medical treatment



STPPossible interventions
st p plans and procedures
STPPlans and Procedures
  • Develop a plan
  • Plan follow up
  • learning contract?
time to practice stp role play
Time to practice STP – Role Play
  • Divide into groups of three. There are three scenarios presented (or provide your own from personal experience). One preceptor, resident and observer. The preceptor should try to specify the problem, set a goal and a plan in ten minutes. The resident should stay in role. Take 5 - 10 minutes. The observers present a summary and their observations to the group.
  • Scenarios may be printed from the last 6 slides
when a problem is not resolved a process most of you will never or will rarely be involved in
When a problem is not resolved.(A process most of you will never or will rarely be involved in )
  • Rotation failure
  • Remediation
  • Probation
  • Removal from the program
failing a resident
Failing a resident
  • A mid-rotation evaluation should be given, in person, and in writing stating deficits, plans, and desired outcomes
  • Documentation should be both general and specific.
  • A failed rotation results in remediation.
  • A formal process of extra specified training to enhance and further evaluate a resident’s skills, knowledge and attitudes, that have been assessed to have significant deficits or concerns.
  • Outcome could be return to regular rotations, further remediation, or probation.
  • Defined period of time.
  • Structured to address identified area of weakness.
  • Outcome is either reinstatement or dismissal.
remediation and probation principles
Remediation and probation principles
  • Fairness
  • Accuracy
  • Documentation
  • Resident knows the rules.
  • Supervisor and resident are aware of the objectives.
  • Adequate exposure for evaluation.
  • Previous evaluations kept confidential.
  • Mid-rotation feedback is given.
  • Evaluations can be appealed.
  • The resident must have a mentor.
  • Uniform standards apply which are determined at the supervisory level.
  • Evaluations are based on learning objectives.
  • Specific examples are given in evaluations.
  • Of problems – sequential
  • Of evaluations – sequential
  • Of interventions – sequential
  • Of quantitative and qualitative evaluations
if you encounter a resident in difficulty remember
If you encounter a resident in difficulty remember

Specify the Problem

Targets and goals

Plans and Procedures

case 1 preceptor

Case 1Preceptor

You are working with a Second year resident who is always smiling and hanging on your every word. He tells you that your knowledge of medicine and clinical acumen is excellent (at least twice a day!) You feel a need to “brush him aside,” but he seems to be all over you.

case 1 learner

Case 1Learner

You are a second-year resident and a very insecure person who needs to be liked. You have difficulty dealing with authority figures. You compensate by being ingratiating.

case 2 preceptor

Case 2Preceptor

You are working with a first-year resident who attends regularly, appears to do her work well, but asks a lot of detailed questions about each case. When asked to pursue a particular topic, she never reports back or indicates that she has completed the task. In addition, she does not seem to read on her own initiative.

case 2 learner

Case 2Learner

You are first-year resident who never learned to be an independent learner. You are used to a very didactic teaching style from medical school and don’t know how to do independent reading or research and are completely at a loss as to how to proceed. You rely on your preceptor for all of the answers.

case 3 preceptor

Case 3Preceptor

A senior resident has missed at least two clinics per week during the past month. This resident has called in several times claiming not to feel well. At work the resident appears to be irritable and distractible.

case 3 learner

Case 3Learner

You are a resident with a substance abuse problem. You have excessive work absence, irritability, and poor work performance.

thank you
Thank You
  • This module was written as an aid to the Preceptors in the Postgraduate Family Practice Program at the University of BC.
    • Study credit is available to groups of preceptors who complete the module
    • Please give us your feedback on the module so that we may improve it for others.
      • Email you comments to Dr. Fraser Norrie, Faculty Development, UBC Family Practice