Little is known about factors affecting emergency physician attendance at formal academic teaching sessions or what emergency physicians believe to be the benefits derived from attending these activities.
To determine what factors influence emergency medicine faculty attendance at formal academic rounds, what benefits they derive from attendance, and what differences in perceptions there are between full-time clinical and part-time clinical academic faculty.
A survey was sent to all emergency physicians with academic appointments at one institution. Responses were tabulated dichotomously (yes/no) for checklist answers and analyzed using a 2-person grounded theory approach for open answers based on an a priori analysis plan. Differences between full-time and part-time faculty were compared using the chi-squared test for significance.
Response rate was 73.8% (48/65). Significant impediments to attendance included clinical responsibilities (75%), professional responsibilities (52.1%), personal responsibilities (33.3%), location (31.2%) and time (27.1%). Perceived benefits of attending rounds were: continuing medical education, social interaction, teaching opportunities, interaction with residents, comparing one's practice with peers, improving teaching techniques, and enjoyment of the format. There were no statistically significant differences between groups' responses.
Emergency physicians in our study attend formal teaching sessions infrequently, suggesting that the perceived benefits do not outweigh impediments to attendance. The single main impediment, competing responsibilities, is difficult to modify for emergency physicians. Strategies to increase faculty attendance should focus on enhancing the main perceived benefits: continuing medical education, social interaction and educational development. Faculty learn from themselves and from residents during formal teaching sessions.