What's the plan? Teaching and learning while on a pediatric residency rotation

Angelo P Giardino, University of Pennsylvania


This field of study was designed to uncover the range of experiences and the character of the interactions that comprised teaching in the inpatient clinical setting during a typical rotation within a pediatric residency training program. An interpretive method of inquiry is used that sought understanding from the perceptions and actions of participants within the setting. Observations and interviews of the participants involved with the rotation were the major activities during the field study. Data used for inductive analysis included: (1) field notes from 6 months of observation at a tertiary care pediatric hospital; (2) transcripts from interviews of the attending physicians and house staff on the observed rotations using a semi-structure interview format; (3) interview transcripts of senior physicians who completed their training many years ago from the “oral history” project done at the Philadelphia College of Physicians. The oral history data, which had not been previously analyzed, provided a sense of history to the physician perceptions of their training that emerged during the study. And, finally (4) documentary review of written materials related to the residency program. An interpretive analysis was done of these data sources using a broad conceptualization of teaching encompassing traditional content-oriented teaching around disease states, as well as, the more subtle and hidden process-oriented teaching that occurs around issues of professional behavior and values. Eight organizing themes emerged and helped describe clusters of participant perceptions and observations. The themes dealt with such issues as volume of work done by house staff and attendings, responsibility felt by the participants' for clinical care and educational pursuits, types of clinical teaching valued, and characteristics of ideal teaching and learning situations in the inpatient setting. The study concluded with a set of observations and recommendations on how best to utilize the clinical setting in the training of resident physicians.

Subject Area

Adult education|Continuing education|Educational sociology|Health education

Recommended Citation

Giardino, Angelo P, "What's the plan? Teaching and learning while on a pediatric residency rotation" (1999). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9926129.