Short Post on Non-Pimping by Calvin Chou
I’ve gotten a lot of responses by my article on pimping in the BMJ. As I said before, some have been very supportive. Some have, surprisingly, defended the practice. In my last post I mentioned the work of Calvin Chou and his colleagues at the VA. They teach feedback to students, trainees, faculty, staff. It is a remarkable sight to see how this iterative process — teach one, do one, coach one, review one, do one, teach one and on and on — produces effective teamwork and teaching and feedback. When I emailed Calvin to alert him to my last blog post in which his work was mentioned, he sent the following comment to me. I asked him if I might share it with my readers, and he said, absolutely! So here is Calvin Chou’s comment on learning how not to pimp.
“One thing I’ve found as I use a questioning (not pimping) style with students and residents is in my first meeting with them, is that I set the expectation (and ask permission) to ask questions, to engage learners and to help assess their knowledge base and develop it. When I have just started in with that style in the past without orientation, students figure out that I am probing them in a supportive way, but it’s better if I orient them first.
Here is another thing I have progressed to: rather than asking what someone is doing ‘well’ (then learners are waiting for the shoe to drop: ‘what are you doing badly?’), I ask what are they doing effectively, or what are they doing that they would like to keep doing. Takes away a bit more of the judgment, to which learners, particularly students, are so supersensitive.”