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Med Teach. 2013 Apr;35(4):e1035-45. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2013.774082. Epub 2013 Mar 15.

The "problem" learner: whose problem is it? AMEE Guide No. 76.

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Centre for Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine, McGill Universit, Canada.


Clinical teachers often work with students or residents whom they perceive as a "problem". For some, it is a knowledge deficit that first alerts them to a problem; for others it is an attitudinal problem or distressing behaviour . And in some cases, it is difficult to know if the learner is, indeed, presenting with a problem. The goal of this Guide is to outline a framework for working with "problem" learners. This includes strategies for identifying and defining learners' problems, designing and implementing appropriate interventions, and assuring due process. The potential stress of medical school and residency training will also be addressed, as will a number of prevention strategies. Identifying learners' problems early - and providing guidance from the outset - can be an important investment in the training and development of future health professionals. It is hoped that this Guide will be of help to clinical teachers, program directors and faculty developers.

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