Incorporating Lifelong Learning From Residency to Practice: A Qualitative Study Exploring Psychiatry Learners' Needs and Motivations

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There has been an increased focus on lifelong learning (LLL) as a core competency to develop master learners in medical education across the learner continuum. The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of psychiatry residents and faculty about LLL implementation, motivation, and training needs.


This qualitative study was conducted in a large, urban, multisite psychiatry training program as part of a larger mixed methods study of LLL in psychiatry education. Using a purposive sampling approach, psychiatry residents were recruited to participate in focus groups; early career psychiatrists and psychiatry educators were recruited to participate in semistructured interviews. Content analysis of interviews and focus groups was done using the iterative, inductive method of constant comparative analysis.


Of the 34 individuals participating in the study, 23 were residents, six were psychiatry educators, and five were early career psychiatrists. Three predominant themes were identified in participants' transcripts related to (1) the need for LLL training in residency training; (2) the implementation of LLL in residency training and practice; and (3) the spectrum of motivation for LLL from residency training into practice.


This study identified the lack of preparation for LLL in residency training and the impact of this gap for psychiatrists transitioning into practice. All participants described the importance of integrating LLL training within clinical rotations and the importance of grounding LLL within the clinical workplace early in residency training to support the delivery of effective, high-quality patient care.

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