Original Research

Training family physicians: A qualitative exploration of experiences of registrars in a family medicine training programme in Cape Town, South Africa

Tasleem Ras, Beverley Schweitzer, Graham Bresick, Derek Hellenberg
South African Family Practice | Vol 62, No 1 : Part 1| a5023 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v62i1.5023 | © 2020 Tasleem Ras, Beverley Schweitzer, Graham Bresick, Derek Hellenberg | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 November 2019 | Published: 25 February 2020

About the author(s)

Tasleem Ras, Department of Public Health and Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Beverley Schweitzer, Department of Public Health and Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Graham Bresick, Department of Public Health and Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Derek Hellenberg, Department of Public Health and Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The MMed in Family Medicine is a professional Master’s qualification spanning 4 years of training. The outcomes were predetermined by national consensus. While these outcomes are measured in the form of a national exit examination, there has been no exploration of the experiences of registrars (residents) in this relatively new programme. To evaluate the experiences of registrars in one of the nine training programmes in South Africa and to identify areas for improvement.

Methods: This study used purposive sampling to recruit registrar (n = 9) and supervisor (n = 8) participants into respective groups. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews and analysed thematically, and consensus was built using the nominal group technique.

Results: Supervisors identified the strengths and weaknesses of the programme which will impact on further strategic planning. Data from registrar interviews yielded two themes: affirmation, referring to the positive social engagement and facilitation of professional identity formation; and frustrations, referring to structural aspects of the programme which hindered academic progress.

Conclusion: Qualitative programme evaluation is a useful tool in understanding the learning environment. The student perspective helped to identify the unintended consequences of the programme. It was also shown that the nominal group consensus building technique worked well in a resource-constrained environment.


Keywords

qualitative programme evaluation; learning environment; professional identity formation; family medicine; primary care

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