Working with registrars

A qualitative study of interns' perceptions and experiences

Christopher S. Lack, John A. Cartmill*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To identify and explore behavioural characteristics of registrars that interns find helpful in their working relationships and workplace learning. Design, setting and participants: Semistructured interviews with 18 interns at Nepean Hospital, Penrith, NSW, at the end of their first working year as doctors. The survey was conducted between December 2003 and February 2004. Main outcome measure: Desirable and undesirable behavioural characteristics in registrars, as reported by interns. Results: Overall, interns' opinions of registrars were positive. Desirable characteristics in registrars included approachability, availability, good communication skills, and a willingness to teach. Undesirable characteristics included an unwillingness to listen, unreasonably high expectations, a condescending attitude, apathy and rudeness. Conclusion: The behavioural characteristics of registrars that interns find helpful are identifiable, and there is significant room for improvement in the quality of clinical mentoring by registrars. The next step is to facilitate regular feedback from interns on registrars' performance, and to develop ways to encourage desirable behaviours in registrars while actively discouraging undesirable behaviours.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-72
Number of pages3
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes

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