Residents in difficulty: a mixed methods study on the prevalence, characteristics, and sociocultural challenges from the perspective of residency program directors

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review




  • Mette Krogh Christensen
  • Lotte O'Neill, DanmarkDorthe Høgh Hansen, DanmarkKaren Norberg, Videreuddannelsesregion Nord, DanmarkLene S Mortensen, DanmarkPeder Charles, Danmark
The majority of studies on prevalence and characteristics of residents in difficulty have been conducted in English-speaking countries and the existing literature may not reflect the prevalence and characteristics of residents in difficulty in other parts of the world such as the Scandinavian countries, where healthcare systems are slightly different. The aim of this study was to examine prevalence and characteristics of residents in difficulty in one out of three postgraduate medical training regions in Denmark, and to produce both a quantifiable overview and in-depth understanding of the topic.
We performed a mixed methods study. All regional residency program directors (N=157) were invited to participate in an e-survey about residents in difficulty. Survey data were combined with database data on demographical characteristics of the background population (N=2399) of residents, and analyzed statistically (Chi-squared test (Χ2) or Fisher’s exact test). Secondly, we performed a qualitative interview study involving three focus group interviews with residency program directors. The analysis of the interview data employed qualitative content analysis.
73.2% of the residency program directors completed the e-survey and 22 participated in the focus group interviews. The prevalence of residents in difficulty was 6.8%. We found no statistically significant differences in the prevalence of residents in difficulty by gender and type of specialty. The results also showed two important themes related to the workplace culture of the resident in difficulty: 1) belated and inconsistent feedback on the resident’s inadequate performance, and 2) the perceived culturally rooted priority of efficient patient care before education in the workplace. These two themes were emphasized by the program directors as the primary underlying causes of the residents’ difficulty.
More work is needed in order to clarify the link between, on the one hand, observable markers of residents in difficulty and, on the other hand, immanent processes and logics of practice in a healthcare system. From our perspective, further sociological and pedagogical investigations in educational cultures across settings and specialties could inform our understanding of and knowledge about pitfalls in residents’ and doctors’ socialization into the healthcare system.
TidsskriftB M C Medical Education
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 22 feb. 2016
BegivenhedUhensigtsmæssige uddannelsesforløb i lægelig uddannelse samt anbefalinger fra forskningsprojektet Uhensigtsmæssige uddannelsesforløb - Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Danmark
Varighed: 15 jan. 2015 → …


KonferenceUhensigtsmæssige uddannelsesforløb i lægelig uddannelse samt anbefalinger fra forskningsprojektet Uhensigtsmæssige uddannelsesforløb
LokationAarhus University Hospital
Periode15/01/2015 → …


  • Uhensigtsmæssige uddannelsesforløb, Medicinsk Uddannelse

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