Communicating About a Learner in Difficulty

A "learner in difficulty" is one showing behaviors significant enough to require intervention, whether due to a knowledge deficit, professionalism issues, or signs of an underlying behavioral problem. Once you've recognized that a learner at your practice seems to be in significant difficulty, it's important to communicate your concerns to both the learner and the appropriate core faculty.

You may be understandably reluctant to report such concerns, but early structured interventions lead to high rates of successful remediation for learners.

Pause to gather key observations that you can share with the learner and the clerkship or program director. Be as specific and detailed as possible. Clear background details and any contributing factors will help the institution to assist the learner with an appropriate intervention.

Remember that as a preceptor, you do not have to take on the burden of remediation. Ask the institution for guidance on their expectations and next steps. 

More about Learners in Difficulty

Visit the Learners in Difficulty section for more information about diagnosing the underlying causes for poor performance and identifying ways to address academic or behavioral problems.