After the strike: using facilitation in a residency training program

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Methods of alternative dispute resolution, including facilitation, can be used to identify and resolve areas of conflict.Facilitation was used by the University of Saskatchewan's Department of Family Medicine (Saskatoon division) after the strike by residents in July and August 1995 so as to allow optimal use of the remaining educational time. Through facilitation, experiences of the strike and areas of potential conflict were explored. Participants had a broad range of responses to the strike. Specific coping strategies were developed to deal with identified concerns. Although outcomes were not measured formally, levels of trust improved and collegial relationships were restored. Because so many changes occur in health care and medical education, conflict inevitably arises. Facilitation offers one way of dealing with change constructively, thereby making possible the optimal use of educational time.

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