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ABSTRACT: A picture tells 1000 words: learning teamwork in primary care.

Abstract
Background:  Teamwork and patient centredness are frequently articulated concepts in medical education, but are not always explicit in the curriculum. In Ireland, recent government policy emphasises the importance of a primary care team approach to health care. We report on an appraisal of a newly introduced community-based student attachment, which focused on teamwork. Aim:  To review students’ experience of teamwork following a community clinical placement by examining student assignments: essays, poetry, music and art. Methods:  Year-2 graduate-entry students (n = 45) spent 2 weeks with a primary care team. Attachments comprised placements with members of the primary care team, emphasising team dynamics, at the end of which students submitted a representative piece of work, which captured their learning. Essays (n = 22) were analysed using a thematic content analysis. Artwork consisted of painting, collage, photography, poetry and original music (n = 23). These were analysed using Gardner’s entry points. Results:  Three core themes emerged in both written and visual work: patient centredness; communication; and an improved appreciation of the skills of other health care professionals. Students identified optimal team communication occurring when patient outcomes were prioritised. Metaphors relating to puzzles, hands and inter-connectedness feature strongly. The poems and artwork had a high impact when they were presented to tutors. Conclusion:  Primary care team placements focus student attention on teamwork and patient centredness. Student artwork shows potential as a tool to evaluate student learning in medical education.

via A picture tells 1000 words: learning teamwork in … [Clin Teach. 2013] – PubMed – NCBI.

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Brian S McGowan, PhD

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Brian is a research scientist and educational technologist. He helped transform Pfizer’s Medical Education Group and previously served in educational leadership roles at HealthAnswers, Inc.; Acumentis, LLC.; Cephalon; and Wyeth. He taught graduate medical education programs at Arcadia University for 10 years. Dr. McGowan recently authored the book "#socialQI: Simple Solutions for Improving Your Healthcare" and has been invited to speak internationally on the subject of information flow, technology, and learning in healthcare.

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