The experience of Armenian family medicine residents with participatory learning methods in rural health centres

Kevork Hopayian, Lorky Libaridian, Yelena Sardaryan, Lusine Antonyan

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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Introduction: The Family Medicine residency program in Armenia relies on traditional teacher- centred and didactic learning methods. The program is largely classroom based. Learning through contact with patients is limited. The Children of Armenia Fund has been active in medical education since 2010. It has provided educational support for family doctors and nurses in medical centres and hosted family medicine residents. In July 2016, family physician partners of COAF worked alongside the COAF educational supervisor to provide residents more active methods of learning combined with practical teaching in clinics, a combination which was called participatory learning.

Method: A two-day seminar for the family medicine residents was designed to include structured patient contact and active classroom learning methods. The program had three components: structured clinical teaching in family medicine clinics, group case presentations, and problem based learning. Participants’ experience was evaluated through a focus group discussion led by an independent researcher.

Results: Five main themes emerged from the focus group: a feeling of responsibility; the opportunity to practice and receive feedback; the merger of theory and practice; the benefits of small group and problem-based learning; and evidence-based medicine. The findings concord with existing research on the benefits of active learning and resident-patient contact: increase in motivation and engagement of residents during their training. The unexpected finding was the ease and enthusiasm with which residents adapted and valued the novel approach.

Discussion: Active learning methods have been shown to improve performance in assessments. Although unaccustomed to participatory learning methods, this group of family medicine residents in Armenia were immediately appreciative of the approach. This has implications for family medicine training in Armenia. More student-centred, active learning methods and practical teaching with patients is likely to be acceptable to residents.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationYerevan, Armenia
PublisherChildren of Armenia Fund
Commissioning bodyChildren of Armenia Fund
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Family Medicine,
  • Armenia
  • Residency Training
  • learning methods
  • ow middle income country
  • clinical teaching
  • qualitative
  • grounded theory

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