BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Because patients often present to their family physicians with undifferentiated medical problems, uncertainty is common. Family medicine residents must manage both the ambiguity inherent in the field as well as the very real uncertainty of learning to become a skilled physician with little experience to serve as a guide. The purpose of this analysis was to assess the impact of a new curriculum on family medicine residents’ tolerance of ambiguity. METHODS: We conducted an exploratory quasi-experimental study to assess the impact of a novel curriculum designed to improve family medicine residents’ tolerance of ambiguity. Four different surveys were administered to 25 family medicine residents at different stages in their training prior to and immediately and 6 months after the new curriculum. RESULTS: Although many constructs remained unchanged with the intervention, one important construct, namely perceived threats of ambiguity, showed significant and sustained improvement relative to before undertaking this curriculum (score of 26.2 prior to the intervention, 22.1 immediately after, and 22.0 6 months after the intervention). CONCLUSIONS: A new curriculum designed to improve tolerance to ambiguity appears to reduce the perceived threats of ambiguity in this small exploratory study.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Family Practice