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Incorporating Lifelong Learning From Residency to Practice

A Qualitative Study Exploring Psychiatry Learners' Needs and Motivations

Sockalingam, Sanjeev MD, MHPE; Soklaridis, Sophie PhD; Yufe, Shira; Rawkins, Sian MD, MEd; Harris, Ilene PhD; Tekian, Ara PhD, MHPE; Silver, Ivan MD, MEd; Wiljer, David PhD

Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions: Spring 2017 - Volume 37 - Issue 2 - p 90–97
doi: 10.1097/CEH.0000000000000156
Original Research

Introduction: There has been an increased focus on lifelong learning (LLL) as a core competency to develop master learners in medical education across the learner continuum. The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of psychiatry residents and faculty about LLL implementation, motivation, and training needs.

Methods: This qualitative study was conducted in a large, urban, multisite psychiatry training program as part of a larger mixed methods study of LLL in psychiatry education. Using a purposive sampling approach, psychiatry residents were recruited to participate in focus groups; early career psychiatrists and psychiatry educators were recruited to participate in semistructured interviews. Content analysis of interviews and focus groups was done using the iterative, inductive method of constant comparative analysis.

Results: Of the 34 individuals participating in the study, 23 were residents, six were psychiatry educators, and five were early career psychiatrists. Three predominant themes were identified in participants' transcripts related to (1) the need for LLL training in residency training; (2) the implementation of LLL in residency training and practice; and (3) the spectrum of motivation for LLL from residency training into practice.

Discussion: This study identified the lack of preparation for LLL in residency training and the impact of this gap for psychiatrists transitioning into practice. All participants described the importance of integrating LLL training within clinical rotations and the importance of grounding LLL within the clinical workplace early in residency training to support the delivery of effective, high-quality patient care.

Dr. Sockalingam: Centre for Mental Health, University Health Network, and Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. Dr. Soklaridis: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. Ms. Yufe: MA Candidate, Department of Psychology, York University. Dr. Rawkins: Mt. Sinai Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. Dr. Harris: Department of Medical Education, University of Illinois College of Medicine. Dr. Tekian: Department of Medical Education, University of Illinois College of Medicine. Dr. Silver: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. Dr. Wiljer: University Health Network, Department of Psychiatry and Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation, University of Toronto.

Correspondence: Sanjeev Sockalingam, MD, MHPE, Toronto General Hospital, 200 Elizabeth Street-8EN-228, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4, Canada; e-mail:

This study was funded by the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine Education Development Fund. This study is also a designated Future of Medical Education in Canada Continuing Professional Development project.

This study was previously presented as a research poster at the World Congress on Continuing Professional Development March 17, 2016; San Diego, CA, and a research paper at the Association for Medical Education in Europe August 27, 2016 Conference; Barcelona, Spain.

Disclosures: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2017 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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