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Acad Med. 2012 Dec;87(12):1715-21. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e3182716790.

The nature of excellent clinicians at an academic health science center: a qualitative study.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. sanjay.mahant@sickkids.ca

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To understand the nature of excellent clinicians at an academic health science center by exploring how and why excellent clinicians achieve high performance.

METHOD:

From 2008 to 2010, the authors conducted a qualitative study using a grounded theory approach. Members of the Clinical Advisory Committee in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto nominated peers whom they saw as excellent clinicians. The authors then conducted in-depth interviews with the most frequently nominated clinicians. They audio-recorded and transcribed the interviews and coded the transcripts to identify emergent themes.

RESULTS:

From interviews with 13 peer-nominated, excellent clinicians, a model emerged. Dominant themes fell into three categories: (1) core philosophy, (2) deliberate activities, and (3) everyday practice. Excellent clinicians are driven by a core philosophy defined by high intrinsic motivation and passion for patient care and humility. They refine their clinical skills through two deliberate activities-reflective clinical practice and scholarship. Their high performance in everyday practice is characterized by clinical skills and cognitive ability, people skills, engagement, and adaptability.

CONCLUSIONS:

A rich theory emerged explaining how excellent clinicians, driven by a core philosophy and engaged in deliberate activities, achieve high performance in everyday practice. This theory of the nature of excellent clinicians provides a holistic perspective of individual performance, informs medical education, supports faculty career development, and promotes clinical excellence in the culture of academic medicine.

PMID:
23095919
DOI:
10.1097/ACM.0b013e3182716790
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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