Richard F. Mitchell, MD, MS
“Did you discuss prostate cancer screening with your patient?”
“I did, but…”
“Well, it was strange, but as I was discussing the risks and benefits, the patient just looked at me and said, ‘This is confusing, can’t you just tell me what I should do? What would you do if it was you?’”
Has something like this happened to you while you were precepting residents? Has it happened to you when you were talking to your own patients? In this age of patient-centered care, we teach our residents to involve patients in shared decision making. How do you counsel a resident working with a patient who doesn’t want to buy into that program? How do you teach your residents to respond to the question, “If it was you, what would you do?”
You might find the answer in an invisible bag.
“There is an invisible bag right in front of you. Think ‘Santa Claus sack.’ Would you like to reach in and take something out?”
“Why would I do that?”
“It’s full of $100,000 bills.”
“Yes! Can I take two?”
“No. But there’s something else you should know. The bag also has blank pieces of paper that feel exactly like $100,000 bills.”
“That’s OK—can I put my hand in now?”
“One last bit of information before you do—it’s also full of razor blades.”
Sonya Shipley, MD,
One day I received an email from STFM about a task force that seemed awesome, but I did not want to apply. My initial thought was, “That seems great, but I am not qualified for that.” You see, I had only been back on faculty for a little over a year, and I wondered, “What do I have to contribute?” Well, in comes my work mother, also known as my department chair, who says, “Apply! You have lots to offer.” Fast forward to today. Guess who is serving on the Faculty for Tomorrow Taskforce—Moi!
The mission of the task force is to prepare faculty today for family medicine tomorrow—to reach those excellent clinical teachers from residency or community practice who have what it takes to shape the next generation of family medicine clinicians. Fantabulous mission, right?
By La Donna Porter, MD, and Margaret Stafford, MD.
Have you ever felt frustrated or daunted when trying to help a struggling learner? We, the co-chairs of the STFM Group on Learners in Academic Difficulty, understand! And we want to help you experience the satisfaction of helping your learners reach their highest potential.
Below are key strategies that will help you assess and assist your own learners: motivational interviewing, creating a differential diagnosis for the behaviors, and developing target behaviors and plans. We also include cases, so read on to see how you can use these skills to work with:
- A resident who refuses to admit a patient
- An intern with disorganized presentations
- A senior resident who struggles to lead the team