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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 494

"I'm worried about what I missed": GP Registrars' Views on Learning Needs to Deliver Effective Healthcare to Ethnically and Culturally Diverse Patient Populations

Discipline of General Practice, School of Medicine, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland

Correspondence Address:
H-O Pieper
Discipline of General Practice, School of Medicine, National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland, Clinical Science Institute, Galway, Co Galway
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 21710416

Introduction: It is widely accepted that medical undergraduate and postgraduate education should address issues related to human diversity. Despite the growth of guidelines and training resources, little is known about primary healthcare professionals' perceptions about their work with patients from diverse communities. Objective: This research explored GP Registrars' views of their learning needs in relation to delivering effective healthcare to ethnically and culturally diverse patient populations. Methods: The study was based on a naturalistic inquiry design, involving qualitative methods. Current GP Registrars of the postgraduate GP Western Training Programme, Galway, Ireland, were invited to participate in focus groups. Three different focus groups were conducted with a total of 31 GP Registrar participants. A thematic analysis following the principles of framework analysis was applied. Results: GP Registrars reported considerable professional uncertainty and occupational stress when consulting with patients from diverse communities. They perceived their training in relation to healthcare for patients from diverse backgrounds as inadequate and desired more training. They identified concrete learning needs, which were mainly related to factual knowledge, with less emphasis on communication skills and attitude awareness. Conclusions: Educators should take GP Registrars' views into account in the development of diversity training in medical education. GP Registrars' attention to specific knowledge related to human diversity may, nonetheless, be too narrow. This training should also encourage acknowledgment of the doctor's professional uncertainty, awareness of the doctor's own attitudes, and development of generic skills such as a patient-centred approach to best meet the needs of diverse population groups.

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