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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Predictors of psychosocial teaching styles in a family practice residency program.

  • Author(s): Shapiro, J
  • Prislin, P M
  • Hanks, C
  • Lenahan, P
  • et al.

Although physician clinical precepting has been extensively studied, little information exists about the teaching styles of behavioral science faculty. This study investigated group characteristics associated with two styles of teaching--authoritative and collaborative--used by behavioral science faculty in a family practice residency training program.

A 6-year retrospective study was conducted with 89 family practice residents and 1,228 patients. Unstructured written comments about direct observation of resident-patient encounters in a family practice clinic were coded using a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches, then analyzed in relationship to variables such as gender perceived resident ability and level of training, ethnicity of patient, and severity of patient diagnosis.

Overall, behavioral scientists used twice as many collaborative as authoritative teaching comments. Male behavioral scientists used more authoritative comments than did female behavioral scientists. First-year residents and female residents received more teaching generally than did their more-experienced and male counterparts. Perceived global performance of resident and severity of patient diagnosis were also related to teaching style.

Behavioral science faculty should consider that group characteristics of teachers, residents, and patients may influence teaching style.

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