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01-10-2016 | Show and Tell | Uitgave 5/2016 Open Access

Perspectives on Medical Education 5/2016

A journal club for peer mentorship: helping to navigate the transition to independent practice

Perspectives on Medical Education > Uitgave 5/2016
Thomas E. MacMillan, Shail Rawal, Peter Cram, Jessica Liu


The transition from residency to independent practice presents unique challenges for physicians. New attending physicians often have unmet learning needs in non-clinical domains. An attending physician is an independent medical practitioner, sometimes referred to as a staff physician or consultant. Peer mentorship has been explored as an alternative to traditional mentorship to meet the learning needs of new attendings. In this article, the authors describe how a journal club for general internal medicine fellowship graduates helped ease the transition by facilitating peer mentorship. Journal club members were asked to bring two things to each meeting: a practice-changing journal article, and a ‘transition to practice’ discussion topic such as a diagnostic dilemma, billing question, or a teaching challenge. Discussions fell into three broad categories that the authors have termed: trading war stories, measuring up, and navigating uncharted waters. It is likely that physicians have a strong need for peer mentorship in the first few years after the transition from residency, and a journal club or similar discussion group may be one way to fulfil this.
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