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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Synchronous Online Journal Club Connects Subspecialty Trainees Across Geographic Barriers


Introduction: Journal club holds a well-respected place in medical education by promoting critical review of the literature and fostering scholarly discussions. Journal clubs are often not available to trainees with niche interests due to the geographic limitations of subspecialty programs such assimulation, medical education, disaster medicine, ultrasound, global health, and women’s health.

Methods: A recurring online journal club was held on a quarterly basis to connect simulation fellows. An online conferencing program with screen-sharing capabilities served as the platform for this scholarly exchange. Articles were presented by fellows supported by more seasoned mentors. We surveyed participants to evaluate the program and provide feedback to the presenter.

Results: The first eight sessions drew participants from across the United States and Canada. The program was highly rated by participants who commented specifically on its value. Presenters were also highly rated, suggesting that fellows, with online support and mentoring, were effective in providing a quality program.

Conclusion: Online synchronous journal clubs can fill an educational niche for subspecialists andtheir trainees, as demonstrated with this curriculum piloted with simulation fellows. Challenges of scheduling across time zones, distribution of materials, and recruitment of participants can be overcome by a dedicated team of facilitators aided by readily accessible technology.

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