The Mentoring Technique

The Trigger to a better practice

Why do students fail in Step 2 CS exam ?

albeit scoring perfect scores in Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK)?

It is all in The Habit Loop

When mentoring our students, we start with some critical approach problems. We want our students to be good problem solvers. We want them to be proactive in their clinical skills. Explaination to why we want to do it this way is described below.

Some Questions about the patients:

  • What is the difference between practicing in the hospital and practicing in the office?

  • What is the difference between proactively preventing the disease and reacting to the disease?

  • Do you think patients listen to their doctors when they are already in a health condition?

  • How to convince someone to follow your instructions when he/she does not really have any health issues?

  • What is the trigger?

  • What is the cue?

When the patient reaches the hospital, they already have trigger - myocardial infarction, COPD, pneumonia or other conditions. When the patient comes for preventive check-up, you need to generate a trigger. Without a trigger, you cannot change the routine and thus cannot obtain the reward.

How can you create the cue or trigger, if you don’t already have one?

This can be achieved by communicating with the patient about the pathophysiology of disease conditions. So as to change the patient’s habit, we need to communicate with them about their problems before hand.

Dr. Singh realized that communicating with the patient was the key in patient experience and improving HCAHPS score. He received many testimonials from patients validating the theory of Habit Loop. If he could mentor real-life patients with his techniques in the hospital and in the office then his students who enroll in the Vital Checklist Step2CS Workshop can also use this methodology to convince the standardized patients.
Dr. Singh taught his students the importance of art and checklists to explain the pathophysiology of various disease processes which improved the communication with standardized patients. Students were encouraged to use whiteboard to master their drawings and explain to the standardized patients. 


  • Communication
  • Patient Experience
  • Testimonials
  • HCAHPS score
  • Habit Loop
  • Trigger or Cue
  • Routine
  • Rewards

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