Positive role modeling by clinical trainers is important for helping trainees learn professional and competent behavior. The authors developed and validated an instrument to assess clinical trainers as role models: the Role Model Apperception Tool (RoMAT).
On the basis of a 2011 systematic review of the literature and through consultation with medical education experts and with clinical trainers and trainees, the authors developed 17 attributes characterizing a role model, to be assessed using a Likert scale. In 2012, general practice (GP) trainees, in their first or third year of postgraduate training, who attended a curriculum day at four institutes in different parts of the Netherlands, completed the RoMAT. The authors performed a principal component analysis on the data that were generated, and they tested the instrument’s validity and reliability.
Of 328 potential GP trainees, 279 (85%) participated. Of these, 202 (72%) were female, and 154 (55%) were first-year trainees. The RoMAT demonstrated both content and convergent validity. Two components were extracted: “Caring Attitude” and “Effectiveness.” Both components had high reliability scores (0.92 and 0.84, respectively). Less experienced trainees scored their trainers significantly higher on the Caring Attitude component.
The RoMAT proved to be a valid, reliable instrument for assessing clinical trainers’ role-modeling behavior. Both components include an equal number of items addressing personal (Heart), teaching (Head), and clinical (Hands-on) qualities, thus demonstrating that competence in the “3Hs” is a condition for positive role modeling. Educational managers (residency directors) and trainees alike can use the RoMAT.
Dr. Jochemsen-van der Leeuw is general practitioner and PhD student, Department of General Practice/Family Medicine, Academic Medical Center–University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Dr. van Dijk is assistant professor, Department of General Practice/Family Medicine, Academic Medical Center–University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Dr. Wieringa-de Waard is professor, Department of General Practice/Family Medicine, Academic Medical Center–University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Funding/Support: This study was funded by CASH (Committee for Activities to promote the Education of General Practitioners).
Other disclosures: None reported.
Ethical approval: This study was approved by the ethical review board of the NVMO (Dutch Association for Medical Education).
Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Jochemsen-van der Leeuw, Department of General Practice/Family Medicine, Academic Medical Center–University of Amsterdam, PO Box 22700, 1100 DE Amsterdam, the Netherlands; telephone: (+31) 20-5667172; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.