An exploratory study of the incidental learning benefits for physician peer assessors in a formal peer assessment

Richardson, Christine (2016) An exploratory study of the incidental learning benefits for physician peer assessors in a formal peer assessment. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Clinical peer assessment, by which health care professionals evaluate each other’s clinical and documentation practice, has been employed by physician regulatory bodies as a quality assurance method, to ensure that standards of care are met. There are many studies addressing the benefits of charting and practice audits for physicians, however there is a paucity of evidence regarding the effects on the peer assessors themselves. This study sought to explore if the review process contributes to changing the peer assessor’s practice and documentation habits. To answer this question, eighteen Emergency Medicine physicians, who conduct peer assessments for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), were interviewed, and the data analysed using a grounded theory methodology. The results suggest that the peer review process motivated peer assessors to reflect on the ways they were providing patient care or preparing documentation in their own practices when they were exposed to different or newer information or after having seen the value already demonstrated by the peer they were assessing. This supports Schön’s notion of reflection-on-action, where the practitioner spends time exploring the situation, and developing questions and ideas before building change in a process of continuous learning. Few physicians are engaged formally as peer assessors with the CPSO. Publicizing the tangible learning benefits of participation in peer assessment has the potential to assist in recruiting newer assessors and could aid in the adoption of local, informal peer assessment groups, which would benefit both reviewee and reviewer

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15577
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 59-65)
Keywords: medical education, peer review, informal learning, reflective practice, emergency medicine
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: October 2016
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Medical education--Ontario; College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario; Peer review --Ontario; Non-formal education--Ontario; Emergency medicine--Ontario

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