Exploring instructional quality indicators in ambulatory medical settings: An ethnographic approach

Luis E. Zayas, Paul A. James, Judy A. Shipengrover, Diane G. Schwartz, Jason W. Osborne, Robin P. Graham

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Scopus citations


    Background and Objectives: As medical education moves to community settings, the quality of learning is influenced by differences in the practice environment, organization, resources, patient case mix, and demographics. This ethnographic study identified experiences and processes that influence student learning in community-based practice settings. Methods: Trained field researchers conducted participant observation in eight community teaching sites. Data were analyzed using a qualitative, grounded theory approach. Results: Three dominant themes emerged: 1) the preceptor's role in situating learning opportunities, 2) the learner's role in transforming experience into learning, and 3) the practice organization as a classroom setting. The findings highlight the importance of exploiting learning opportunities and the contributions of other medical staff and patients in facilitating unique learning experiences. Conclusions: This research suggests the need to move beyond the typical student ratings of teacher effectiveness to consider and assess additional important factors and processes that affect instructional quality.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)635-640
    Number of pages6
    JournalFamily medicine
    Issue number9
    StatePublished - Oct 1 1999

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Family Practice


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