How clinical teaching teams deal with educational change: 'We just do it'

L. Bank*, M. Jippes, T. R. Van Rossum, C. Den Rooyen, A. J.J.A. Scherpbier, F. Scheele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: In postgraduate medical education, program directors are in the lead of educational change within clinical teaching teams. As change is part of a social process, it is important to not only focus on the program director but take their other team members into account. The purpose of this study is to provide an in-depth insight into how clinical teaching teams manage and organize curriculum change processes, and implement curriculum change in daily practice. Methods: An explorative qualitative semi-structured interview study was conducted between October 2016 and March 2017. A total of six clinical teaching teams (n = 6) participated in this study, i.e. one program director, one clinical staff member, and one trainee from each clinical teaching team (n = 18). Data were analysed and structured by means of thematic analysis. Results: The analysis yielded to five factors that positively impact change: shared commitment, reinvention, ownership, supportive structure and open culture. Factors that negatively impact change were: resistance, behaviour change, balance between different tasks, lack of involvement, lack of consensus, and unsafe culture and hierarchy. Overall, no clear change strategy could be recognized. Conclusions: Insight was gathered in factors facilitating and hindering the implementation of change. It seems particularly important for clinical teaching teams to be able to create a sense of ownership among all team members by making a proposed change valuable for their local context as well as to be capable of working together as a team. Cultural factors seem to be particularly relevant in a team's ability to accomplish this.

Original languageEnglish
Article number377
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalBMC Medical Education
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2019


  • Change management
  • Clinical teaching teams
  • Curriculum change
  • Postgraduate medical education


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