What’s it like to be a clinical supervisor – responsible for doctors in training – who gradually comes to the realisation that one of your trainees needs to be failed? How would you feel? Would the system support you?
In a newly published commentary in Medical Education, University of Cambridge researchers Riikka Hofmann and Richard Darnton discuss the emotional burden of clinical supervision.
Hofmann is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education and Darnton directs the General Practice Education Group at the University’s Clinical School and is a practicing GP and medical supervisor.
Their commentary responds to a poignant research paper by Gingerich et al in the same issue, which describes the emotional trajectory of supervisors as they realise that a trainee needs to be failed. Emotional responses like anger may be useful, Gingerich suggests, in flagging that something is wrong.
Hofmann and Darnton propose a conversation about the reality and role of trainer emotions, suggesting that educators need support from the medical education system to help them manage the emotional burden of supervision.
They conclude: “In sum, we believe there to be a journey we need to go on, caring for educators, acknowledging the emotional burden of workplace supervision, and validating the role of the emotions (when suitably processed) in alerting us to something amiss.”
Read the commentary
‘This trainee makes me feel angry’: It’s time to validate the reality and role of trainer emotions‘ in Medical Education. Riikka Hofmann and Richard Darnton. 2Jan 2022. https://doi.org/10.1111/medu.14722
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