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The role of social interaction in applying evidence-based recommendations to clinical practice

The FMPE research team will present findings from our ethnographic study entitled “The role of social interaction in applying evidence-based recommendations to clinical practice” at the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE), August 27–31, 2022.

This presentation will provide empirical evidence on how physicians discuss modules on various clinical topics, with the purpose of understanding and implementing new guidelines for best practice. Some of the intricate knowledge processes that occur during small group learning include collaborative interpretations and assessments of new information, reflections on practice, sharing of practice experiences, benchmarking, and making clinical decisions to bridge gaps between current and best practices. Small group discussions with colleagues can help overcome individual uncertainties in making appropriate decisions regarding diagnosis and treatment for optimal patient care.  

The FMPE research team is preparing another manuscript for publication, the results of our ethnographic study entitled “Change talk in small group learning communities.” Two PBSG groups were observed for 1 year to explore how family physicians interpret information, assess its application to practice, and develop implementation strategies for their specific practices. Findings from field notes, interviews, and practice reflection tools were used to create a conceptual framework for “change talk”. This work was presented at the Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education Feb 2021 Annual Meeting and Wilson Centre 25 Year Anniversary Celebration October 2021, and the framework was published in the recent Evidence-Based Learning and Practice PBSG Module (Special Edition Fall 2021, available at 

Under the leadership of Dr. Heather Armson, the FMPE research team is undertaking a new research project exploring the factors that enhance cohesion in small group learning. The aim of this project is to identify measurable components of cohesive PBSG groups to help guide the longevity of the PBSG learning program. The research team has done an environmental scan and a systematic literature search to answer the research question “What are the social, structural, and /or cultural components of well-established, cohesive practice-based small groups?” Currently we are developing a list of potential questions related to small group cohesiveness. The plan is to collect data using membership surveys, interviews/focus groups as well as observations of small group sessions. To find out more about this small group function project, please contact the research coordinator Stefanie Roder at