Step #1: Problem Identification & General Needs Assessment

A. Identifying the Learner in Difficulty

  • Relies on honest and timely feedback

Warning signs:

  • Lack of preparedness, apparent lack of knowledge, declining performance, or poor test scores
  • Avoidance, absenteeism, frequent lateness, reduced or absent communication
  • Late or missed deadlines
  • Change in behavior, behavioral/professionalism concerns, edgy or sensitive behavior, pessimistic or antagonistic outlook
  • Indecisiveness, difficulty with increasing complexity or responsibility, rigidity or overly linear thinking
  • Lack of initiative or engagement, inability to guide own learning
  • Lack of insight, particularly when deficits are addressed
  • Colleagues avoiding or bypassing working with the learner
  • Trend of difficulties noted in previous rotations or patterns of borderline performance.

Although programs should always keep their residents informed about their educational progress, this is especially true when a learner is thought not to be meeting expectations. A learner MUST be alerted when they are not meeting expectations or is at risk of failing a rotation. The moment a learner is identified as struggling, programs are encouraged to connect with the PGME office for guidance and support.

CONTACT for Learning and Educational Resources Support: pdassist@ucalgary.ca

B. General Needs Assessment

Remediation aims to address any educational concerns, thus it is important to understand other contributors to the issue before finalizing a remediation. One framework that can be used is outlined below:

  Knowledge Skills Attitudes
Resident

Are there gaps in knowledge?

What are the resident’s knowledge strengths?

Are there difficulties with interpreting information, interpersonal skills, judgement, organization?

What skills does the resident have?

Are there difficulties with motivation, insight, self-assessment, patient interactions?

Does the resident have a positive approach to learning supports?
Teacher/Faculty

Are there challenges in identifying residents in difficulty, understanding how to apply learning supports?

Are there faculty that have experience with learners in difficulty?

Do faculty know how to remediate a struggling learner?

Who are the faculty that are skilled in teaching, communication, developing learning supports?

What are the perceptions, expectations, or stressors around learners in difficulty?

Who are the faculty that have a positive approach to learning supports?

Program/Environment

What are the gaps in understanding how to identify a learner in difficulty, recognize the problem, and remediate?

What knowledge is available for Programs to utilize when faced with a learner in difficulty?

Where are the gaps in skill acquisition for supporting learners in difficulty?

What resources are available to address learners in difficulty in the Cumming School of Medicine, PGME, or in the Department?

What are the systemic barriers to supporting learners in difficulty?

What supports exist in the Cumming School of Medicine, PGME, or in the Department?