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Fam Pract. 2000 Dec;17(6):547-53.

What are the characteristics of the competent general practitioner trainer?

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  • 1Department of Vocational Training for General Practice, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Increasing attention is being given to the training of doctors to become teachers. This does not apply only to the schooling of teachers in undergraduate medical education: at the postgraduate level, general practitioner trainers (GP-trainers) receive special schooling to prepare them for their role. Yet the skills, knowledge and traits that should be expected in the competent GP-trainer have not been elucidated precisely.

OBJECTIVES:

The aim of this research project is to determine the traits, knowledge and skills required for a competent GP-trainer.

METHOD:

We used a qualitative method to answer the question. Ten focus-group meetings were held involving three Departments of Vocational Training in The Netherlands. Each group consisted of GP-trainers, GP-trainees or staff members. The transcriptions of these meetings were analysed, resulting in a description of what makes a competent GP-trainer.

RESULTS:

Five hundred items were obtained from the focus-group meetings, each of which was formulated in the form "A good GP-trainer is/can/knows. ", etc. These items were divided into the following categories: teaching knowledge, teaching skills, teaching attitude and personality traits of the GP-trainer. A competent GP-trainer must understand basic teaching methods and be able to apply this knowledge. The skill to give good feedback was seen as an important asset for a competent GP-trainer, as were observation skills, the skill to analyse and the skill to foster reflection in the trainee. The teaching attitude of a competent GP-trainer is characterized by giving latitude to and having respect for and interest in the trainee, and being available for consultation, while the teaching approach should be individualized. Enthusiasm, flexibility, patience and self-insight were some of the personality traits identified.

CONCLUSION:

Many characteristics were identified as a result of this research. The next logical step will involve a Delphi consensus procedure to obtain a profile of the competent GP-trainer. This profile will then be suitable in setting the standards for curricula for future GP-trainers.

PMID:
11120729
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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