Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

12-2009

Abstract

In 2001, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), a committee of physicians and health policy experts charged to improve the health of the United States by the National Academy of Science, identified a gap in the area of education of health care practitioners as one of the reasons for medical error. However, one of the most common instructional methods in medical education to promote transfer and problem solving is examination of a single patient case (Shine, 2002), a pedagogical practice shown to be ineffective (Gentner, Loewenstein & Thompson, 2003; Norman et al., 2007). Therefore, adult learners in health care may be ill-equipped through traditional classroom instructional strategies to not only transfer what they have learned in the classroom (Norman, et al., 2007; Weeks, Lyne & Torrance, 2001), but may also lack problem solving skills needed to address novel clinical problems (Battles & Shea, 2001; Shine, 2002). To address the transfer gap between the classroom and clinical environment, a literature review was undertaken. A key finding was use of multiple case examples with instructor cueing (prompting or provision of hints) was superior to use of single case examples alone for fostering transfer of learning. Based on empirical evidence and literature review findings, the authors propose a theoretical model, propositions, and implications for clinical practice for use by educators to foster transfer of learning from the classroom to the clinical practice setting.

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