Using Practice Inquiry to Engage Uncertainty in Residency Education

  • Tina Kenyon
  • Claudia W. Allen
  • Alan Siegel


Building skills to manage uncertainty early in the professional development process can enhance longevity in clinical practice, where uncertainty is a constant companion. The authors describe Practice Inquiry (PI) as it is used with residents in three family medicine residency programs: New Hampshire Dartmouth program in Concord, New Hampshire; the University of Virginia program in Charlottesville, Virginia; and Contra Costa County Regional Medical Center program in Martinez, California. Each program describes PI discussion formats, facilitation options, and evaluation findings. The authors (who facilitate PI groups at each program) assess PI’s contribution to their curricula by highlighting the key areas of focus: gaining comfort in disclosing uncertainty, incorporating information mastery skills, and working from a strengths-based perspective. Plans for continued PI implementation and expansion at each program, as well as recommendations for introducing PI in residency programs, are discussed.


Residency Program Practice Inquiry Clinical Uncertainty Representative Comment Primary Care Specialty 
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Supplementary material

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Sommers_ 10. Online Resource 7 (28 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NHDFMRConcordUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family MedicineUniversity of Virginia Health SystemCharlottesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Contra Costa Family Medicine Residency ProgramMartinezUSA

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