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Teaching and Learning

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Matthew Links
added a research item
Background: Effective communication between patients-clinicians, supervisors-learners and facilitators-participants within a simulation is a key priority in health profession education. There is a plethora of frameworks and recommendations to guide communication in each of these contexts, and they represent separate discourses with separate communities of practice and literature. Finding common ground within these frameworks has the potential to minimise cognitive load and maximise efficiency, which presents an opportunity to consolidate messages, strategies and skills throughout a communication curriculum and the possibility of expanding the research agenda regarding communication, feedback and debriefing in productive ways. Methods: A meta-synthesis of the feedback, debriefing and clinical communication literature was conducted to achieve these objectives. Results: Our analysis revealed that the concepts underlying the framework can be usefully categorised as stages, goals, strategies, micro-skills and meta-skills. Guidelines for conversations typically shared a common structure, and strategies aligned with a stage. Core transferrable communication skills (i.e., micro-skills) were identified across various types of conversation, and the major differences between frameworks were related to the way that power was distributed in the conversation and the evolution of conversations along the along the path of redistributing power. As part of the synthesis, an overarching framework "prepare-EMPOWER enact" was developed to capture these shared principles across discourses. Conclusions: Adopting frameworks for work-based communication that promote dialogue and empower individuals to contribute may represent an important step towards learner-centred education and person-centred care for patients.
Matthew Links
added a research item
Professionalism is a contested concept and different discourses have differed by scope and epistemology. The theory of communicative action integrates epistemology (knowledge interests) with that of scope (lifeworld). Aim: To pragmatically inform learning of professionalism. Methods: apply the theory of communicative action to professionalism discourses. Results: Previous professionalism discourses translated into four frames: technical; communicative; improvement, and critical. These can be viewed as four metaphors the scale; conversation; consensus conference, and protest. The theory of communicative action demonstrated that a critical frame was often lacking from discussions of professionalism and emphasized critiquing the assumptions made, the way power was utilized, and the ends to which actions were directed. Using these frameworks connected discourses on professionalism to other key medical discourses particularly quality improvement, patient centeredness, social justice, and the professional well-being. Conclusion: The theory of communicative action adds value by introducing criteria for the evaluation of individual truth claims that expands the discussion beyond accuracy to include sincerity, ethics and coherence; and it emphasizes promoting free speech and the inclusion of diverse views and stakeholders. The theory of communicative action provides a coherent and useful framework for viewing professionalism that integrates with broader discussions about philosophy, truth claims, and post-modern society.
Matthew Links
added a research item
Competency based medical education (CBME) has become the default for undergraduate and post-graduate medical education (PGME) but its role in continuing professional development (CPD) is under discussion. Some critical differences between CPD and PGME are identified and these differences applied to: the relative roles of competence and performance; existing criticisms of CBME; heutagogy as a learning theory; and post-modernism as an underlying philosophical perspective. The argument is made that the characteristics of CPD fit with performance based medical education, a heutagogical learning theory, a focus on capabilities, rather than competencies; and a post-modern perspective.
Matthew Links
added 4 research items
There is an urgent need for efficient cancer education programmes to promote safe practice in a comprehensive cancer centre. Educational practice has developed historically in an unplanned and inefficient way. Developments in educational theory and information technology provide an opportunity to develop systems with better educational methodology, better efficiency and potential for better impact on safety outcomes. We have developed such a programme at St. George Comprehensive Cancer Centre in Sydney, Australia, and describe here our experience in the first 2 years of implementing such a programme. In this article, we describe the programme, the obstacles and solutions we encountered and our reflections on the journey so far.