HealthDay News — According to a study published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, behaviors that residents value in incentive care unit (ICU) attending physicians include enjoyment of teaching and treatment of patients, families and non-physician staff.

Lekshmi Santhosh, MD, from the University of California at San Francisco, and colleagues surveyed internal medicine residents regarding the importance of behaviors of ICU attending physician role models using a 37-item questionnaire. 

The questionnaire included behaviors that residents observed in ICU attending physicians. Two hundred sixty residents responded to the survey.

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The researchers found that enjoyment of teaching, demonstrating empathy and compassion to patients and families, the ability to explain clinical reasoning and differential diagnosis, respectful treatment of non-physician staff members, and enthusiasm on rounds were the behaviors most commonly rated as very important to residents. 

Trainees rated having numerous research publications, having served as chief resident, sharing personal life events, and organizing end-of-rotation social events as less important.

“Our study provides new information to attending physicians striving to influence resident education,” the authors write. “We discovered that behaviors, such as expression of empathy, explanation of clinical reasoning, and qualities of professionalism, were commonly seen in esteemed teaching attending physician.”


Santhosh L, et al. “Intensive Care Unit Educators: A Multicenter Evaluation Of Behaviors Residents Value In Attending Physicians.” Annals of the American Thoracic Society. 2017;14(4): 513-516. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201612-996BC

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