The role of teamwork in the professional education of physicians: current status and assessment recommendations

Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2005 Apr;31(4):185-202. doi: 10.1016/s1553-7250(05)31025-7.


Background: The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has recommended that organizations establish interdisciplinary team training programs that incorporate proven methods for team management. Teamwork can be assessed during physician medical education, board certification, licensure, and continuing practice. Team members must possess specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs), such as the ability to exchange information, which enable individual team members to coordinate.

Assessing physician teamwork: KSAs might be elicited and assessed across a physician's career, starting in medical school and continuing through licensure and board certification. Professional bodies should be responsible for the development of specific team knowledge and skill competencies and for promoting specific team attitude competencies. Tools are available to assess medical student, resident, and physician competence in these critical team KSAs.

Challenges and complexities in team performance measurement: For teamwork skills to be assessed and have credibility, team performance measures must be grounded in team theory, account for individual and team-level performance, capture team process and outcomes, adhere to standards for reliability and validity, and address real or perceived barriers to measurement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Medical / organization & administration*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Medical Errors / prevention & control
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration
  • Patient Care Team / standards*
  • Physicians*
  • Process Assessment, Health Care / methods*
  • Professional Competence / standards*
  • Safety Management / organization & administration
  • United States