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Acad Med. 2008 Oct;83(10):976-81. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181850aeb.

The impact of facilitation of small-group discussions of psychosocial topics in medicine on faculty growth and development.

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  • 1University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0726, USA.



To use qualitative analysis of interview transcripts with clinician-educators who facilitate small-group discussions on psychosocial themes--including doctoring--to answer the question, "What impact does facilitating small-group discussions of the patient's experience with chronic illness, the doctor-patient relationship, and doctoring have on faculty instructors' attitudes regarding their roles as clinicians and teachers?"


In 2006, in-depth, face-to-face interviews using an open-ended question format were conducted with individual faculty small-group instructors teaching in the Family Centered Experience and Longitudinal Case Studies courses at the University of Michigan Medical School. Interview transcripts were analyzed using grounded theory methodology to identify emerging themes. Accuracy of interpretations and saturation of themes was confirmed by repeated contextual reading of the transcripts.


Several major thematic codes emerged from the data. Facilitation of small-group discussions of psychosocial topics and doctoring fostered reflective approaches to patient care and teaching; enhanced interpersonal relationships between facilitators and their students, colleagues, and patients; and acted as a source of fulfillment and renewal among faculty facilitators.


Small-group teaching of the art of doctoring may stimulate personal and professional growth among faculty facilitators and renewed interest in teaching and patient care.

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