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Handbooks, learning contracts, and senior house officers: a collaborative enterprise.
  1. G. Parsell
  1. Medical Education Unit, University of Liverpool, UK.


    Efforts to bring about improvements in hospital-based education and training for senior house officers over the last few years have raised issues which are gradually being addressed. One of these is the lack of understanding by many clinical teachers of educational principles and their application to senior house officer training. This study describes how volunteer consultants in five specialties in a North West District General Hospital worked together to develop an educational structure for senior house officers. An audit of education and training was carried out across the hospital to help identify problem areas. An education specialist worked with consultants to develop, implement and evaluate a handbook based on adult learning principles. The handbook incorporated a learning contract, formal review process and a curriculum of learning objectives for each specialty. In parallel, consultants created in-house videos which were used to raise awareness of clinical teachers in the hospital about these educational issues. Preliminary evaluation showed positive responses by both senior house officers and consultants to both the study and its outcomes.

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