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The work of medical education is increasingly collaborative across geographical sites, sometimes spanning international borders. The success of projects depends more strongly on how meetings are led and run than variables about the task itself; therefore, excellent communication using teleconferencing technology is required. However, we found no medical literature to assist with developing best practices in telecommunication. Using the organization and management literature, which has examined the use of telecommunication in optimizing work outcomes, we provide a guide for initiating and facilitating teleconferences. We used Tuckman's framework for group development as a means of organizing guidelines that address practical issues in approaching communication on teleconferences and discuss important aspects of forming work groups using telecommunication, setting ground rules and norms, addressing conflict, and enhancing accountability and outcomes. We identified 12 tips for optimal teleconferencing and divided them into phases of formation, setting ground rules, managing conflict, and enhancing group performance. Successful work on teleconferences requires excellent attention to the group process, especially since full engagement by participants is not always assured.


Calvin L Chou, Susan B Promes, Kevin H Souza, Kimberly S Topp, Patricia S O'Sullivan. Twelve tips for facilitating successful teleconferences. Medical teacher. 2012;34(6):445-9

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PMID: 22449266

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