Identifying attributes required by Foundation Year 1 doctors in multidisciplinary teams : a tool for performance evaluation
Background: Effective working in multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) is promoted as essential in ensuring good healthcare outcomes, suggesting that an understanding exists of the relationship between outcomes and the attributes needed by individuals to function effectively in the MDT. While the characteristics of effective teamwork have been described, the attributes needed by individual MDT members have not been investigated. To address this, the study focuses on newly qualified Foundation Year 1 (FY1) doctors, creating and testing a tool to evaluate their performance in the MDT. Methods: Repertory grid technique was used to elicit attributes needed by FY1 doctors to function effectively in the MDT. Study participants (all experienced MDT members) used these to evaluate MDT working by FY1 doctor colleagues. Data on 57 FY1 doctors were collected from 95 MDT members working in five hospitals. Participants also ranked the attributes in terms of importance for effective team functioning and rated an ‘Ideal’ FY1 doctor. Results: The repertory grid permitted differentiation between groups of FY1 doctors’ MDT performance. FY1 doctors who undertook interprofessional training were rated no differently than UK-trained graduates without such training. UK-trained graduates were rated significantly higher on all attributes than non-UK-trained graduates. Overall, FY1 doctors were rated lower than the ‘Ideal’. Factor analysis and rankings suggested tensions between clinical attributes needed for goodteam functioning and more ‘social’ attributes. Conclusions: This study demonstrates the potential of repertory grid methodology in eliciting attributes that are important for effective teamworking and using these to evaluate MDT working by FY1 doctors.