Keywords: peer counseling, family medicine residency, qualitative study
Peer helping is defined as “a process in which trained, supervised students; that is peer helpers, or peer facilitators; are selected to help other students with personal and academic issues for the purpose of clarifying their thoughts and feelings; exploring options, and alternatives; offering a supportive relationships; and facilitating students in defining their own solutions”. For 2022-2023 academic year, the faculty has started peer helping (counseling) for family medicine residents in one of the courses. For this purpose, it was decided to provide peer counseling for ability to present an original article aiming to increase the research skills including literature review and to learn evidence-based assessment. For each student, a peer counselor was assigned in addition to mentor faculty member and calendar for presentations was created and announced to the students.
This qualitative research aims to determine the contribution of peer counseling to the ability to present articles, which is a part of family medicine residency training. For this purpose, family medicine residency students who are in their first year and working with a peer counselor were asked about their thoughts on the subject. The data was collected by means of depth interviews useing of a semi-structured questionnaire.
The main themes emerging from the analyses were: (1) supportive, (2) motivator, (3) obstacles. Participants described these in their words as;
“Of course, it is nice to get support from teachers, but it goes better with peers… I have received feedback before the presentation.”
“And we can express ourselves more easily, without hesitation.”
“I do not think online interviews are very useful. But in the end, the physical conditions are not always suitable…”
In order to apply peer counseling more widely and effectively in family medicine training, it is necessary to consider the experiences of the residents.
Points for discussion: