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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The House Cup Challenge: A Gamified Curriculum for Emergency Medicine Residents

Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Learning Objectives: Our goal was to create a bespoke annual competition that incentivizes residents’ participation both during conference and outside scholarly activities as well as foster camaraderie between residents and boost morale of the residency program.

Introduction: Current emergency medicine (EM) residents have different learning styles and benefit from a more immersive educational strategy over classic, lecture-based curricula.1,2,3,4 Integrating gamification into a didactic curriculum has been shown to boost learners’ participation.2 An annual competition that incentivises residents’ participation in conference and scholarly activities can motivate educators to create more interactive learning tools and encourage resident participation.

Objectives: Our goal was to create an annual competition in which residents earn points based on various competitions and completion of scholarly activities. We hypothesize that our novel competition will motivate residents to participate in conference activities and scholarly activities, as well as foster camaraderie between residents and improve overall morale.

Curricular Design: Residents were randomly sorted into four groups at the beginning of the academic year with an equal distribution of PGY levels. Residents had opportunities to earn points for their teams through a variety of predetermined activities including individual and team-based competitions during conferences and completion of scholarly activities. Points could also be deducted for missed deadlines. The challenge spanned the academic year and the group with the highest points was awarded prizes.

Impact/Effectiveness: Our House Cup Challenge has stimulated resident participation, fostered camaraderie, and improved residency morale. Residents completed an anonymous Likert scale survey to assess the impact of the competition. 73% report that the challenge boosted overall morale and 70% report that it helped foster camaraderie with co-residents. In terms of education, 62% of the residency were incentivized to participate in activities in which they otherwise would not have participated and 66% would want to participate again next year. This competition can be easily integrated into any EM residency curriculum.

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