Postal survey of approaches to learning among Ontario physicians: implications for continuing medical education.

Abstract:

OBJECTIVES:To understand the approaches to learning of practising physicians in their workplace and to assess the relation of these approaches to their motivation for, preferred methods of, and perceived barriers to continuing medical education. DESIGN:Postal survey of 800 Ontario physicians. PARTICIPANTS:373 physicians who responded. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Correlations of approaches to learning and perceptions of workplace climate with methods, motives, and barriers to continuing medical education. RESULTS:Perceived heavy workload was significantly associated with the surface disorganised (r=0.463, P<0.01) and surface rational approach (r=0.135, P<0.05) to learning. The deep approach to learning was significantly correlated with a perception of choice-independence and a supportive-receptive climate at work (r=0.341 and 0.237, P<0.01). Physicians who adopt a deep approach to learning seem to be internally motivated to learn, whereas external motivation is associated with surface approaches to learning. Heavy workload and a surface disorganised approach to learning were correlated with every listed barrier to continuing medical education. The deep approach to learning was associated with independent learning activities and no barriers. CONCLUSIONS:Perception of the workplace climate affects physicians' approaches to learning at work and their motivation for and perceived barriers to continuing medical education. Younger, rural, family physicians may be most vulnerable to feeling overworked and adopting less effective approaches to learning. Further work is required to determine if changing the workplace environment will help physicians learn more effectively.

journal_name

BMJ

authors

Delva MD,Kirby JR,Knapper CK,Birtwhistle RV

doi

10.1136/bmj.325.7374.1218

keywords:

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2002-11-23 00:00:00

pages

1218

issue

7374

eissn

0959-8138

issn

1756-1833

journal_volume

325

pub_type

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