Tuesday, June 23, 2009


We had an interesting discussion about "problem residents" and whether one can really know whether a resident is just getting a slow start, or will not realistically be able to become a competent physician. As you might have guessed, no one had a definative "formula" that we could follow. Two readers commented on the interview process and its limitations in exploring values and work ethic. Others commented that "substance use" should always be explored when faced with undesireable behavior. Three readers mentioned two characteristics that had been good predictors of success. The first predictor was a willingness by the resident to acknowledge the problem and the second was an ability to reflect on the feedback given and pose a plan. Finally, one readers posed a rule to follow - "always be working in the best interest of the resident".

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