How important is context in teaching interviewing?

Journal of General Internal Medicine, Jul 2013

Anita Pomerantz

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How important is context in teaching interviewing?

How Important Is Context in Teaching Interviewing? There are v a r i o u s r e s e a r c h t e c h n i q u e s t h a t are compatible w i t h t h i s model of social i n t e r a c t i o n . C o n v e r s a - tion-analytic m e t h o d s allow r e s e a r c h e r s to e x a m i n e the strategies p h y s i c i a n s select i n local i n t e r a c t i o n a l envir o n m e n t s a n d to t r a c k the i n t e r a c t i o n a l c o n s e q u e n c e s of their selections. A variety of e t h n o g r a p h i c t e c h n i q u e s , i n c l u d i n g s t i m u l a t e d recall a n d focus g r o u p interviews, provide r e s e a r c h e r s w i t h t h e o p p o r t u n i t y to explore b o t h p h y s i c i a n s ' a n d p a t i e n t s c o n c e r n s as they, themselves, identify them. C o m b i n i n g r e s e a r c h t e c h n i q u e s p e r m i t s r e s e a r c h e r s to a s s o c i a t e t h e p a r t i c i p a n t s ' e x p r e s s e d c o n c e r n s w i t h the c o m m u n i c a t i o n o c c u r r i n g at those points. What are the i m p l i c a t i o n s e a c h model h a s for teaching i n t e r v i e w i n g i n m e d i c i n e ? O P e r a t i n g w i t h the first model, r e s e a r c h e r s m i g h t f i n d t h a t specific s e t s of beliefs of p h y s i c i a n s are a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e i r u s e of specific c o m m u n i c a t i o n strategies. T h e y m i g h t c o n c l u d e t h a t teacher s s h o u l d i n c u l c a t e s t u d e n t s w i t h specific sets of beliefs So as to i n f l u e n c e t h e i r c o n d u c t . L e v i n s o n a n d Roter, for example, r e c o m m e n d t h a t m e d i c a l e d u c a t o r s reflect o n how they m i g h t i n f l u e n c e the beliefs of t h e i r s t u d e n t s c o n c e r n i n g the i m p o r t a n c e of psychosocial issues in p a t i e n t care. T h e y s u g g e s t t h a t the way to c h a n g e p h y s i c i a n s ' i n t e r v i e w i n g b e h a v i o r is to c h a n g e t h e i r beliefs. The pedagogical i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h e s e c o n d model for t e a c h i n g i n t e r v i e w i n g i n m e d i c i n e are twofold. First, i n s t r u c t i o n m i g h t be a i m e d at i n c r e a s i n g s t u d e n t s ' u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the role of c o n t e x t i n the c o m m u n i - cation process a n d s t u d e n t s ' a b i l i t y to p r o d u c e a n d m a k e use of different i n t e r a c t i o n a l contexts. Second, t e a c h e r s m i g h t directly t e a c h those c o m m u n i c a t i o n skills t h a t are needed to h a n d l e t h e p r o b l e m s t h a t t h e c o n t e x t u r a l a n a l - yses identify. By now, m y preference for the s e c o n d model of social a c t i o n s h o u l d be t r a n s p a r e n t . M e a n i n g lies i n w o r d s i n context, n o t i n w o r d s t h e m s e l v e s . To u n d e r s t a n d a n d teach c o m m u n i c a t i o n skills, we n e e d a model of social i n t e r a c t i o n t h a t i n c o r p o r a t e s c o n t e x t as a key component.--ANITA POMERANTZ, P h D , Associate Professor, Department of C o m m u n i c a t i o n Sciences, T e m p l e University, Philadelphia, PA 19122 1. Levinson W , Roter D. Physicians ' psychosocial beliefs correlate with their patient c o m m u n i c a t i o n skills . J Gen Intern Med . 1995 ; 1 0 : 3 7 5 - 9 . 2. Sacks H . Lectures on Conversation. Vols 1 and 2 . Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 1992 .


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Anita Pomerantz. How important is context in teaching interviewing?, Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2018, 411-411, DOI: 10.1007/BF02599846