ICRE pre-conference workshops provide full- and half-day forums for medical educators to network, collaborate, and take home valuable tools and knowledge to enhance their programs or practice.
These sessions focus largely on residency education, research, and faculty development. They are unique learning opportunities, providing extra time for more in-depth exploration and stronger skill building in each topic area.
One of this year’s offerings, the Conversations in Medical Supervision Course, will examine the quantity and quality of supervision provided to medical and other health trainees, a topic of recent concern in the Australian health system. To address this concern, Health Workforce Australia provided a number of grants to fund projects to research effective models of clinical supervision, and improve supervision capability. This course is the result of three years of research, piloting, development, evaluation and improvement.
Recently, the ICRE team spoke with Dr. Anthony Llewellyn, who along with Leonie Watterson, Arline Dumazel, and others will present the Conversations in Medical Supervision Course at ICRE 2015 on October 22 in Vancouver, BC.
Why is supervision a concern in the Australian Health System?
Effective models of supervision have been a concern in Australia as they have been in other countries for some time. In the State of New South Wales a Special Commission of Inquiry into the Hospital system (often referred to as the Garling Report) made a number of recommendations around the supervision of junior clinicians, including requiring supervisors to undertake specific training in supervision.
A key topic of discussion at medical education conferences in Australia is what is often termed “failure to fail”. At various levels of the medical education continuum teachers and supervisors struggle to give students and trainees feedback about underperformance. At its worst this situation can lead to doctors being progressed inappropriately to the next level of training. But it can also mean that remediable factors are not recognised and addressed to benefit trainees.
What are the implications of too much / too little supervision to medical and other health trainees?
Its now been established through research studies that supervision can have a positive impact on care quality and trainee performance. But less is known about what aspects of supervision are actually important or whether certain models are better. This makes it difficult to organise training programs on the topic. We do know that supervisors feel challenged in certain aspects of the supervision relationship and may therefore avoid engaging in difficult or challenging conversations.
Research on effective communications initially grounded in patient-centred interviewing studies, now transferred to student-centred interviewing has enabled us in NSW to develop a model for teaching supervision skills to supervisors based around those difficult conversations that can and do occur in supervision. Using simulation techniques (e.g. role play) participants can gain immediate feedback and improvement on their communication in a deliberative practice format.
Who would benefit from attending your workshop?
We would suggest that anyone who is involved in a program of supervision where there have been problems engaging supervisors in having difficult conversations with trainees would benefit from attending this workshop. They will see demonstrated a model of teaching that embraces difficult conversations as the case material for teaching effective communications skills in supervision.
If you come to this workshop you should be prepared to participate in role play and feedback sessions. It’s difficult to learn communication skills without practice and feedback.
The workshop is presented in two-modules, what can participants expect from each module?
You can attend either one or all and will gain a good appreciation of the model and workshop.
In workshop one we briefly present the model and then rapidly move into demonstrating its applicability to a situation where the student or trainee is having a difficulty at orientation to a new placement, followed by a situation where the student or trainee has performed unsuccessfully in a work task.
In workshop two we briefly present the model again and then demonstrate its applicability to two further situations: dealing with a complaint made against the student/trainee by another clinician, and delivering bad news at the end of term.
We’ve found that these workshops really resonate with supervisors. They particularly like the opportunity to bring along their own case material (for the role plays) based on their own past experiences.
What do you hope participants take away from your workshop?
We would hope that participants go away from these workshops with a sense that difficult conversations can be effectively managed in supervision.
Finally, we’d love to get some feedback from participants about our teaching model and its applicability to other jurisdictions.
ICRE 2015 pre-conference workshops will take place on Thursday, October 22, with all sessions wrapping-up before the opening plenary. Registration is now open. For more information about this, and other pre-conference session, visit: royalcollege.ca/icre.