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Applying Expectancy Theory to residency training: proposing opportunities to understand resident motivation and enhance residency training

Authors Shweiki E, Martin N, Beekley A, Jenoff J, Koenig G, Kaulback K, Lindenbaum G, Patel P, Rosen M, Weinstein M, Zubair M, Cohen M

Received 29 October 2014

Accepted for publication 9 February 2015

Published 29 April 2015 Volume 2015:6 Pages 339—346

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S76587

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder


Ehyal Shweiki,1 Niels D Martin,2 Alec C Beekley,1 Jay S Jenoff,1 George J Koenig,1 Kris R Kaulback,1 Gary A Lindenbaum,1 Pankaj H Patel,1 Matthew M Rosen,1 Michael S Weinstein,1 Muhammad H Zubair,2 Murray J Cohen1

1Department of Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, USA; 2Department of Surgery, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Abstract: Medical resident education in the United States has been a matter of national priority for decades, exemplified initially through the Liaison Committee for Graduate Medical Education and then superseded by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. A recent Special Report in the New England Journal of Medicine, however, has described resident educational programs to date as prescriptive, noting an absence of innovation in education. Current aims of contemporary medical resident education are thus being directed at ensuring quality in learning as well as in patient care. Achievement and work-motivation theories attempt to explain people's choice, performance, and persistence in tasks. Expectancy Theory as one such theory was reviewed in detail, appearing particularly applicable to surgical residency training. Correlations between Expectancy Theory as a work-motivation theory and residency education were explored. Understanding achievement and work-motivation theories affords an opportunity to gain insight into resident motivation in training. The application of Expectancy Theory in particular provides an innovative perspective into residency education. Afforded are opportunities to promote the development of programmatic methods facilitating surgical resident motivation in education.

Keywords: learning, education, achievement

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