Observing handoffs and telephone management in GI fellowship training

Renee Williams, Roy Miler, Brijen Shah, Sita Chokhavatia, Michael Poles, Sondra Zabar, Colleen Gillespie, Elizabeth Weinshel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objectives: Gastroenterology (GI) training programs are mandated to teach fellows interpersonal communication and professionalism as basic competencies. We sought to assess important skill sets used by our fellows but not formally observed or measured: handoffs, telephone management, and note writing. We designed an Observed Standardized Clinical Examination (OSCE) form and provided the faculty with checklists to rate fellows performance on specific criteria. Methods: We created two new scenarios: a handoff between a tired overnight senior fellow on call and a more junior fellow, and a telephone management case of an ulcerative colitis flare. Fellows wrote a progress notes documenting the encounters. To add educational value, we gave the participants references about handoff communication. Four OSCE stationshandoff communication, telephone management, informed consent, and delivering bad newswere completed by fellows and observed by faculty. Results: Eight faculty members and eight fellows from four GI training programs participated. All the fellows agreed that handoffs can be important learning opportunities and can be improved if they are structured, and that handoff skills can improve with practice. Conclusions: OSCEs can serve as practicums for assessing complex skill sets such as handoff communication and telephone management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1410-1414
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011


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