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Low Back Pain in the Emergency Medicine Department: A Flipped Classroom Module



Current residency didactic schedules that are built upon hour-long, lecture-based presentations are incongruous with adult learning theory and the needs of millennial generation residents. An alternative to the traditional lecture, the flipped classroom involves viewing a short video lecture at home, followed by an active discussion during class time. This module was developed for emergency medicine residents and rotating medical students without previous training on the subject.


The at-home portion of the module was designed to be delivered at home, while the in-class discussion was designed to be carried out over 30-45 minutes during a regularly scheduled didactic time. Small-group size may be determined by faculty availability, though groups of five are optimal. There is no requirement for faculty preparation prior to the in-class session. Associated materials include objectives, the at-home video, a discussion guide for faculty facilitators, a case-based handout for students and residents, and assessment questions. We assessed our module with a pretest, immediate posttest, and the posttest again after 90 days.


The mean pretest score was 66%, mean posttest score 76%, and mean retention test score 66%. There was an immediate increase of 10%, which did not remain at 90 days.


We developed a flipped classroom module that can be implemented in any emergency medicine residency or clerkship. It addresses the theoretical challenges posed to traditional conference didactics by increasing the focus on problem solving and self-directed learning.

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