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Medical student and trainee doctor views on the ‘good’ doctor: deriving implications for training from a Q-methods study

Coventry, Jennifer, Hampton, Jennifer ORCID:, Muddiman, Esther ORCID: and Bullock, Alison ORCID: 2022. Medical student and trainee doctor views on the ‘good’ doctor: deriving implications for training from a Q-methods study. Medical Teacher 44 (9) , pp. 1007-1014. 10.1080/0142159X.2022.2055457

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Purpose In contexts of changing patient demographics, this study explores what doctors and medical students believe being a ‘good’ doctor means and identifies implications for training. Method Using Q-methodology, a purposive sample of 58 UK medical students and trainees sorted 40 responses to the prompt “Being a ‘good’ doctor means…” into a quasi-normal distribution. Participants explained their array choices in a post-sort questionnaire. Factor-groups, consensus and distinguishing statements were identified using Principal Competent Analysis in R. Results Three factor-groups best described shared and divergent perspectives, accounting for 61.64% of variance. The largest, “patient-centred generalist” group valued patient wellbeing and empowerment, compassion and complex needs. They prioritised knowledge breadth and understanding other specialities. The “efficient working doctors” group valued good work-life balance, pay and did not seek challenge. Some believed these made a stressful career sustainable. The “specialist” group valued skills mastery, expertise, depth of knowledge and leadership. Participant-groups were distributed across these factor-groups, all agreeing early specialisation should be avoided. Conclusions The largest factor-group perceptions of holistic, patient-centred care align with Royal Colleges’ curricula adaptions to equip doctors with generalist skills to manage multi-morbid patients. However, curriculum designers should acknowledge implications of generalist approaches for doctors’ formulation of professional identities.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Cardiff Unit for Research and Evaluation in Medical and Dental Education (CUREMeDE)
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
ISSN: 0142-159X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 March 2022
Date of Acceptance: 16 March 2022
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 02:54

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