Patterns of Psychosocial Performance in The Doctor-Patient Encounter: A Study Of Family Practice Residents

Johanna Shapiro, PhD

Doctor-patient psychosocial interactions were studied for a group of 34 family practice residents. Analysis of the data of 102 patient encounters indicated that a continuum of psychosocial skills existed, with residents exhibiting generally strong performance in certain areas, and generally weak performance in others. Specifically, residents appeared more competent with basic psychosocial interactions than with those requiring a more in-depth encounter with the patient’s phenomenological reality. Differences by year of resident were noted, with third year residents generally performing better in areas requiring more complex and intimate interactions. Differences according to sex of resident were also observed, with women residents outperforming male residents in many of the more complex areas of psychosocial interaction.

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