Understanding Resident Performance, Mindfulness, and Communication in Critical Care Rotations

OBJECTIVE: Evidence from the medical literature suggests that surgical trainees can benefit from mindful practices. Surgical educators are challenged with the need to address resident core competencies, some of which may be facilitated by higher levels of mindfulness. This study explores whether mindful residents perform better than their peers as members of the health care team. DESIGN: This study employed a multiphase, multimethod design to assess resident mindfulness, communication, and clinical performance. SETTING: Academic, tertiary medical center. PARTICIPANTS: Residents (N = 51) working in an intensive care unit. In phase I, medical residents completed a self-report survey of mindfulness, communication, emotional affect, and clinical decision-making. In phase II, resident performance was assessed using independent ratings of mindfulness and clinical decision-making by attending physicians and registered nurses. RESULTS: In phase 1, a significant positive relationship was found between resident performance and mindfulness, positive affect (PA), and communication. In phase 2, attending physicians/registered nurses' perceptions of residents' mindfulness were positively correlated with communication and inversely related to negative affect (NA). The top quartile of residents for performance and mindfulness had the lowest NA. Higher-rated residents underestimated their performance/mindfulness, whereas those in the lowest quartile overestimated these factors. CONCLUSIONS: This study offers a number of implications for medical resident education. First, mindfulness was perceived to be a significant contributor to self-assessments of competency and performance. Second, both PA and NA were important to mindfulness and performance. Third, communication was associated with resident performance, mindfulness, and PA. These implications suggest that individual characteristics of mindfulness, communication, and affect, all potentially modifiable, influence care quality and safety. To improve low performers, surgical educators could screen and identify residents with inaccurate self-assessments. Residents open to feedback will improve faster and develop awareness toward situations and interactions with patients, colleagues, attending physicians, and staff.

Real, Kevin
Fields-Elswick, Katelyn
Bernard, Andrew C.
Item Type: 
Journal Article
Publication Title: 
Journal of Surgical Education
Journal Abbreviation: 
J Surg Educ
Publication Date: 
Publication Year: 
Library Catalog: 
PMID: 28025061

Turabian/Chicago Citation

Kevin Real, Katelyn Fields-Elswick and Andrew C. Bernard. 2017-06. "Understanding Resident Performance, Mindfulness, and Communication in Critical Care Rotations." Journal of Surgical Education 74: 3: 503-512. 10.1016/j.jsurg.2016.11.010.

Wikipedia Citation

<ref> {{Cite journal | doi = 10.1016/j.jsurg.2016.11.010 | issn = 1878-7452 | volume = 74 | pages = 503-512 | last = Real | first = Kevin | coauthors = Fields-Elswick, Katelyn, Bernard, Andrew C. | title = Understanding Resident Performance, Mindfulness, and Communication in Critical Care Rotations | journal = Journal of Surgical Education | date = 2017-06 | pmid = | pmc = }} </ref>