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Fam Med. 1996 May;28(5):331-6.

Teaching smoking cessation to family practice residents: an experiential approach.

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  • 1Department of Family Practice, Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte, NC, USA.



Smoking cessation is a complex process influenced by the smoker's motivation to quit and the effective use of external support measures. Understanding the complexities of smoking cessation can be difficult for physicians, many of whom have never smoked. This paper describes an experiential educational approach that exposes family practice residents to the process of smoking cessation through active participation in an American Lung Association (ALA) Freedom From Smoking group.


We designed and observed a 1-month educational program in which residents co-led a modified ALA group. Ethnography, a qualitative research technique, was used to discover what residents learned.


We identified five themes that describe what residents learned through their experience in the ALA Group: 1) the power of nicotine addiction, 2) the power of the smoking cessation group, 3) skills, tips, tools, and tricks to help the smoker quit, 4) the process of redefining success, and 5) the ability to understand the smoker. Residents' recall of their experience remained vivid, even 9 months after the training concluded.


This experiential approach provided a rich, lasting learning experience for the residents we studied.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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