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Focus of the Month Newsletter

Identify Types of Learner Difficulty

While you have high hopes of success for learners entering your clinic, learners do occasionally arrive with academic or behavioral problems that have not yet been identified, either by themselves or by other faculty. As a preceptor or faculty, you have the opportunity to identify a problem and offer feedback and direction. However, you will want to familiarize yourself with the various difficulties a learner may exhibit.

There are four classes of learning difficulties: Affective, Cognitive, Structural, and Interpersonal. Affective difficulties may arise from life events that push learners into affective states that manifest as sleep disorders, memory loss, withdrawal, and failure to perform. Early identification and intervention is critical for positive outcomes. For example, you may observe a learner who has lost motivation, which can be an indication of an affective difficulty. Consult your institution’s guidelines on what steps to take if you identify a learner in difficulty. Read on to learn more about the other three types.

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More Pages About Learners in Difficulty

You can learn more about this topic by visiting the Learners in Difficulty section, where you'll find the following pages:

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Learning Paths

Not sure where to start? Here's where to go if...

If you're a resident who is expected to teach medical students, follow this path to learn best practices and techniques for precepting.

If you're a new preceptor, follow this path to get a crash course in precepting.

If you're an established preceptor, follow this path to learn advanced tips and techniques.

If a new learner is about to join your practice, follow this path to make their transition into your practice go smoothly.

If wish to read all available pages in the competency domain Teacher and Professionalism, follow this path.

If wish to read all available pages in the competency domain Teacher and Learner, follow this path.

If wish to read all available pages in the competency domain Teacher and Assessment, follow this path.

If wish to read all available pages in the competency domain Teacher and Content, follow this path.

If wish to read all available pages in the competency domain Teacher and Environment, follow this path.

Use This Resource to Provide Your Preceptors With ABFM Performance Improvement Credits

Did you know you can use Teaching Physician to help you participate in the ABFM Precepting Performance Improvement program? First, use the Self-Assessment Tool to identify areas of faculty need, then build faculty development to meet those needs.

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Read a Sample Page from the Site, or Watch a Sample Video

With over 180 pages on the site, it was hard to choose just one. Click the link below to read our "Motivating Residents to Teach" page.