Exploring typologies of consultation performance using authentic clinical experiences to support learning and assessment in postgraduate medical training

Angelique Timmerman*, Marjolein Oerlemans, Cees van der Vleuten, Teresa Pawlikowska, Paul Ram, Jean Muris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To validate and refine typologies of consultation performance from previous research to identify learning needs associated with each typology.

METHODS: We performed a qualitative study in a General Practice Specialty Training programme, using a two-stage design. First, we selected four exemplars from 80 videotaped consultations of 7 first-year and 6 third-year trainees that reflected the four typologies. We subsequently held individual interviews with clinical supervisors (N = 20) who observed these consultations to identify recurrent trainee behaviours.

RESULTS: The 'doctor-patient interaction' dimension from previous research was specified to encompass relationship-building, exploring, structuring, and shared decision-making competencies. Medical expertise was a moderating factor. The attitude and consultation behaviours included in the typologies were validated and we formulated directions for learning based on learning needs identified per typology.

CONCLUSION: Supervisors have a shared frame of reference for the behaviours reflecting proficient consultation performance. Serving as a developmental road map, all learning needs emphasised contextual adaptation, calling for an improved balance between patient-centred relationship building and application of medical expertise.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: By providing rich and tailored feedback on consultation performance, the refined typologies - albeit subject to additional refinement in future research - may promote the monitoring of individual competence development over time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2276-2284
Number of pages9
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number7
Early online date11 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • Physician-patient communication
  • Assessment
  • Consultation performance
  • Narrative profiles
  • Contextual adaptation
  • Patient centredness
  • Graduate medical education

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