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Table 3 Salient themes in analysis of resident physicians’ perspectives on Autonomy

From: Learning to drive: resident physicians’ perceptions of how attending physicians promote and undermine autonomy

Theme Components
Defining Resident Physician Autonomy
Driving Patient Care • RP involved in decision making
• RP involved in hands-on patient care
• RP allowed to complete simple tasks independently
Taking the Wheel • RP able to lead communication with family
• RP able to handle day-to-day care responsibilities
Learner’s Permit • Graduated level of responsibility
• RP’s awareness of own limitations and knowing when to ask for help
• AP providing safety net
Factors Promoting Resident Physician Autonomy
Handing Over the Wheel • Communication
• Active promotion of RP decision making
• Patient ownership
• Team dynamics and hierarchy
Two Way Street • Challenge RP to think independently
• Remain open to RP input
Roadside Assistance • Graduated independence
• Allowing RP space to work
• Providing opportunities for independent activity
Factors Undermining Resident Physician Autonomy
Failing to Yield • AP has predetermined course of action
• Changing care plan without alerting or involving RP
Backseat Driving • Micromanagement
• Not leaving work area
• Imposing personal treatment style