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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Does the Removal of Textbook Reading from Emergency Medicine Resident Education Negatively Affect In-Service Scores?


Introduction: In-service exam scores are used by residency programs as a marker for progress and success on board exams. Conference curriculum helps residents prepare for these exams. At our institution, due to resident feedback a change in curriculum was initiated. Our objective was to determine whether assigned Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) articles and Rosh Review questions were non-inferior to Tintinalli textbook readings. We further hypothesized that the non-textbook assigned curriculum would lead to higher resident satisfaction, greater utilization, and a preference over the old curriculum.

Methods: We collected scores from both the allopathic In-training Examination (ITE) and osteopathic Emergency Medicine Residency In-service Exam (RISE) scores taken by our program’s residents from both the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 residency years. We compared scores pre-curriculum change (pre-CC) to scores post-curriculum change (post-CC). A five-question survey was sent to the residents regarding their satisfaction, preference, and utilization of the two curricula.

Results: Resident scores post-CC were shown to be non-inferior to their scores pre-CC for both exams. There was also no significant difference when we compared scores from each class post-CC to their respective class year pre-CC for both exams. Our survey showed significantly more satisfaction, utilization, and preference for this new curriculum among residents.

Conclusion: We found question-based learning and Evidence-Based Medicine articles non-inferior to textbook readings. This study provides evidence to support a move away from textbook readings without sacrificing scores on examinations.

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