Key stakeholder opinions for a national learner education handover Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Sharing information about learners during training is seen as an important component supporting learner progression and relevant to patient safety. Shared information may cover topics from accommodation requirements to unprofessional behavior. The purpose of this study was to determine the views of key stakeholders on a proposed national information sharing process during the transition from undergraduate to postgraduate medical education in Canada, termed the Learner Education Handover (LEH). METHOD: Key stakeholder groups including medical students, resident physicians, residency program directors, medical regulatory authority representatives, undergraduate medical education deans, student affairs leaders, postgraduate medical education deans participated in focus groups conducted via teleconference. Data were transcribed and coded independently by two coders, then analyzed for themes informed by principles of constructivist grounded theory. RESULTS: Sixty participants (33 males and 27 females) from 16 focus groups representing key stakeholder groups participated. Most recognized value in a national LEH that would facilitate a smooth learner transition from medical school to residency. Potential risks and benefits of the LEH were identified. Themes significant to the content, process and format of the LEH also emerged. Guiding principles of the LEH process were determined to include that it be learner-centered while supporting patient safety, resident wellness and professional behavior. The learner and representatives from their undergraduate medical education environment would each contribute to the LEH. CONCLUSIONS: The LEH must advocate for the learner with respect for learner privacy, while promoting professionalism, patient safety and learner wellness.


  • Kassam, Aliya
  • Ruetalo, Mariela
  • Topps, Maureen
  • Mountjoy, Margo
  • Walton, Mark
  • Edwards, Susan
  • Nickell, Leslie

publication date

  • December 2019