Remediation Through Transformation: Applying Educational Theory to the Struggling Resident

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6 Scopus citations


The struggling medical resident is faced with many adaptive challenges that may require change in mindset. However, formal remediation within graduate medical education (GME) often employs overly structured technical solutions to address trainee deficiencies. These strategies may ultimately fail to result in sustained improvement. Transformative learning (TL) is an educational theory that has recently been explored as a teaching modality in health professions education. In 2013, Cranton published a three-part framework for TL. This framework, composed of the cognitive perspective, beyond rational TL, and TL for social change, has potential applications to GME remediation, specifically in helping individuals to overcome adaptive challenges. These strategies may be particularly useful within the traditionally difficult-to-remediate competencies of systems-based practice, practice-based learning and improvement, and professionalism. The authors provide a descriptive overview of each of Cranton's perspectives, introducing concrete examples drawn from the medical literature. This article will contrast current remediation strategies with those using TL theory in order to assist graduate medical educators in applying these principles to the remediation of their own struggling residents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3656-3663
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine


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