PURPOSE: Achieving education goals for Internal Medicine housestaff in Critical Care remains a difficult endeavor due to time constraints imposed by Intensive Care Unit (ICU) workload and resident work hour guidelines. Few studies address strategy for achieving educational goals. We hypothesize that a structured educational program will improve scores on a standardized pre- and post test tool.
METHODS: Prior to Academic Year 2005-6, the Pulmonary and Critical Care Faculty at Georgetown University Hospital reached consensus on a curriculum for a structured educational program. A series of eight core lecture topics were agreed upon by faculty, and these lectures were given to rotating ICU housestaff twice weekly over each four-week cycle of the academic year. Additionally, papers from recent Critical Care and related literature were posted on our institution’s Internal Medicine website, with guidelines for reading based on the week of the rotation. Residents were advised to read approximately five papers per week. Pre-tests and identical post-tests were administered to first year residents at the beginning and end of their ICU rotation and the scores analyzed using a paired-t test. The Critical Care Faculty approved the reading list and test.
RESULTS: Twenty-five first year residents completed pre- and post tests during their ICU rotation. Of a total possible score of 33, the mean pre-test score was 18.48, and mean post-test score was 24.16. Mean improvement in scores between the two tests was 5.68 ± 3.6. Post-test scores on the standardized test were significantly higher than pre-test scores (p<.0001).
CONCLUSION: Implementation of a program of scheduled core ICU lectures and a reading program involving five current articles per week results in significant improvement in standardized post-test performance. Further study is required to determine impact of this program on certifying board in-service examinations, board scores, and resident satisfaction.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Deployment of a structured resident curriculum in Critical Care optimizes the attainment of educational goals while fitting easily into busy schedules of patient care activities.
DISCLOSURE: Cristina Reichner, None.