Cheri Bethune , Judith Belle Brown
Residents’ use of case-based reflection exercises.
Can Fam Physician Vol. 53, No. 3, March 2007, pp.470 – 476
Qualitative exploration of the experience of family practice residents in using semi structured case-based reflection exercises as a learning medium.
Qualitative study using in-depth interviews.
Memorial University’s Family Medicine Residency Program in St John’s, Newfoundland.
Graduates of the residency program who had taken part in a pilot project that involved completion of case-based reflection exercises as a medium for enhancing learning.
In-depth interviews were conducted with graduates who had used the reflection exercises during their postgraduate training. All participants were in active practice. All of the audiotaped interviews were transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis continued until saturation was reached.
Eight interviews were conducted that included 5 women and 3 men. Three themes emerged from the data analysis: effect on the learning process, effect on the patient-doctor relationship, and effect on the learner.
The experience of using the reflection exercises appeared to affect how family practice residents learned. Three major themes emerged: the reflection exercises as a continuing education process offered participants a strategy for future learning in practice; the exercises offered a different perspective on the patient-doctor interaction that had doctors looking forcues to deeper meaning; and the exercises engaged the learners in a reflective process that revealed qualities about themselves that gave them personal insight. These reflective strategies have relevance for all physicians in their attempts to incorporate new knowledge and understanding into their practices. Similar dimensions are articulated in the educational literature, and this study supports the usefulness of case-based reflection as a catalyst in the education of family physicians.