Transfer of training from an internal medicine boot camp to the workplace: enhancing and hindering factors

Joanne Kerins (Lead / Corresponding author), Samantha Eve Smith, Suzanne Anderson Stirling, Judy Wakeling, Victoria Ruth Tallentire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


Background: The transfer of training to the workplace is the aim of training interventions. Three primary factors influence transfer: trainee characteristics, training design and work environment influences. Within medical education, the work environment factors influencing transfer of training remain underexplored. Burke and Hutchins’ review of training transfer outlined five work environment influences: opportunity to perform, supervisor/peer support, strategic link, transfer climate and accountability. This study aimed to explore the ways in which work environment factors influence the transfer of training for medical trainees. 

Methods: Internal Medicine Training in Scotland includes a three-day boot camp involving simulation-based mastery learning of procedural skills, immersive simulation scenarios and communication workshops. Following ethical approval, trainees were invited to take part in interviews at least three months after following their boot camp. Interviews were semi-structured, anonymised, transcribed verbatim and analysed using template analysis. Member checking interviews were performed to verify findings. 

Results: A total of 26 trainees took part in interviews between January 2020 and January 2021. Trainees reported a lack of opportunities to perform procedures in the workplace and challenges relating to the transfer climate, including a lack of appropriate equipment and resistance to change in the workplace. Trainees described a strong sense of personal responsibility to transfer and they felt empowered to change practice in response to the challenges faced. 

Conclusions: This study highlights barriers to transfer of training within the clinical workplace including procedural opportunities, a transfer climate with challenging equipment availability and, at times, an unsupportive workplace culture. Trainees are driven by their own sense of personal responsibility; medical educators and healthcare leaders must harness this enthusiasm and take heed of the barriers to assist in the development of strategies to overcome them.

Original languageEnglish
Article number485
Number of pages12
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Early online date10 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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