Purpose: To identify the qualities and skills of exemplary and ideal pediatric hospitalist educators.
Method: The authors conducted a prospective, multi-institutional qualitative study from November 2008 through January 2009 in which they interviewed pediatric hospitalists who were identified as exemplary educators at three academic pediatric residency programs. They then conducted focus groups with residents and medical students who had recently worked with these hospitalists. Qualitative analysis was used to identify themes.
Results: All six hospitalists identified as exemplary participated. Among invited learners, 14/18 residents (78%) and 16/18 medical students (89%) participated. Together, the participants contributed 266 comments, which the authors categorized into 36 themes within the four domains of teaching skills, personal qualities, patient care skills, and role modeling. New qualities and skills—including self-reflection/insight, encouraging autonomy, time management, knowledge acquisition, and systems knowledge—and differences in perceptions among hospitalists, residents, and students were identified. Differences between the qualities and skills of actual exemplary hospitalist educators and perceptions of those of an ideal hospitalist educator were also identified.
Conclusions: Pediatric hospitalists in academic residency programs have unique opportunities to significantly affect the education of medical students and residents. This study validates and expands on prior studies of the qualities and skills needed to be a successful hospitalist educator. Researchers and educators designing faculty development programs to train more successful hospitalist educators may wish to target these qualities and skills as well as the differences in medical student and resident needs.
Dr. Fromme is assistant professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois.
Dr. Bhansali is assistant professor, Department of Pediatrics, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC. At the time research was conducted, she was assistant professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Hartford, Connecticut.
Dr. Singhal is assistant professor, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.
Dr. Yudkowsky is associate professor and director, Dr Allan L. and Mary L. Graham Clinical Performance Center, Department of Medical Education, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois.
Dr. Humphrey is professor of medicine and dean for medical education, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois.
Dr. Harris is professor, interim head and director, Graduate Studies in Health Professions Education Leadership, Department of Medical Education, and professor, Department of Pathology, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois.
Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Fromme, University of Chicago, Department of Pediatrics, 5721 S. Maryland Ave., Chicago, IL 60637; fax: (773) 834-0748; e-mail: email@example.com.
First published online October 25, 2010.