Rapid changes observed in information technologies, medical practice, and learning methods encourage physicians to develop new updating strategies. To test its feasibility and to help physicians devise new learning and updating strategies, the knowing-in-action model developed by Schön was applied in planning and evaluating an interactive workshop. Acquisition of knowledge was tested.
The office and hospital charts of a family physician were reviewed. They were used to prepare a longitudinal case study, based on the real-life story of a hypertensive patient followed by her doctor over a period of 15 years. The clinician's approach to solving clinical problems was triangulated for credibility with general practitioners, specialists, and the information available in the literature. This longitudinal case study was used to develop an interactive educational workshop. The workshop was presented to physicians who had registered in an accredited continuing medical education event. Changes in pre- and postevent knowledge among the participants were assessed using touch pad technology to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach on the acquisition of knowledge related to management of arterial hypertension and associated clinical problems.
A comparison of pre- and post-test data showed a significant improvement in knowledge for participants who answered all questions on both questionnaires (n = 8/37). The average score of these participants increased from 5.5 of 10 before the workshop to 8.3 of 10 after the workshop (p < .05). Participants reported a high satisfaction rate for the event.
A workshop using the longitudinal case study enables physicians to perceive their daily practice through a continuing education activity in which they experience the processes of reflection in action and reflection on action described by Schön. It also increases awareness of the gap between current practice and experts' recommendations and provides an opportunity to evaluate the means for bridging or closing this gap. It sensitizes the physician to patients' changing needs and prompts the clinician to reflect on the who, what, when, where, and how of learning.