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1.  Impact of subspecialty elective exposures on outcomes on the American board of internal medicine certification examination 
BMC Medical Education  2012;12:94.
Background
The American Board of Internal Medicine Certification Examination (ABIM-CE) is one of several methods used to assess medical knowledge, an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) core competency for graduating internal medicine residents. With recent changes in graduate medical education program directors and internal medicine residents are seeking evidence to guide decisions regarding residency elective choices. Prior studies have shown that formalized elective curricula improve subspecialty ABIM-CE scores. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate whether the number of subspecialty elective exposures or the specific subspecialties which residents complete electives in impact ABIM-CE scores.
Methods
ABIM-CE scores, elective exposures and demographic characteristics were collected for MedStar Georgetown University Hospital internal medicine residents who were first-time takers of the ABIM-CE in 2006–2010 (n=152). Elective exposures were defined as a two-week period assigned to the respective subspecialty. ABIM-CE score was analyzed using the difference between the ABIM-CE score and the standardized passing score (delta-SPS). Subspecialty scores were analyzed using percentage of correct responses. Data was analyzed using GraphPad Prism version 5.00 for Windows.
Results
Paired elective exposure and ABIM-CE scores were available in 131 residents. There was no linear correlation between ABIM-CE mean delta-SPS and the total number of electives or the number of unique elective exposures. Residents with ≤14 elective exposures had higher ABIM-CE mean delta-SPS than those with ≥15 elective exposures (143.4 compared to 129.7, p=0.051). Repeated electives in individual subspecialties were not associated with significant difference in mean ABIM-CE delta-SPS.
Conclusions
This study did not demonstrate significant positive associations between individual subspecialty elective exposures and ABIM-CE mean delta-SPS score. Residents with ≤14 elective exposures had higher ABIM-CE mean delta-SPS than those with ≥15 elective exposures suggesting there may be an “ideal” number of elective exposures that supports improved ABIM-CE performance. Repeated elective exposures in an individual specialty did not correlate with overall or subspecialty ABIM-CE performance.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-12-94
PMCID: PMC3480921  PMID: 23057635
Resident education; Gender; Elective; Subspecialty; Graduate medical education
2.  Are Commonly Used Resident Measurements Associated with Procedural Skills in Internal Medicine Residency Training? 
Background
Acquisition of competence in performing a variety of procedures is essential during Internal Medicine (IM) residency training.
Purposes
Determine the rate of procedural complications by IM residents; determine whether there was a correlation between having 1 or more complications and institutional procedural certification status or attending ratings of resident procedural skill competence on the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) monthly evaluation form (ABIM-MEF). Assess if an association exists between procedural complications and in-training examination and ABIM board certification scores.
Methods
We retrospectively reviewed all procedure log sheets, procedural certification status, ABIM-MEF procedural skills ratings, in-training exam and certifying examination (ABIM-CE) scores from the period 1990–1999 for IM residency program graduates from a training program.
Results
Among 69 graduates, 2,212 monthly procedure log sheets and 2,475 ABIM-MEFs were reviewed. The overall complication rate was 2.3/1,000 procedures (95% CI: 1.4–3.1/1,000 procedure). With the exception of procedural certification status as judged by institutional faculty, there was no association between our resident measurements and procedural complications.
Conclusions
Our findings support the need for a resident procedural competence certification system based on direct observation. Our data support the ABIM’s action to remove resident procedural competence from the monthly ABIM-MEF ratings.
doi:10.1007/s11606-006-0068-1
PMCID: PMC1824756  PMID: 17356968
procedural skills; Internal Medicine residency training program; ABIM evaluation
3.  Are Commonly Used Resident Measurements Associated with Procedural Skills in Internal Medicine Residency Training? 
Background
Acquisition of competence in performing a variety of procedures is essential during Internal Medicine (IM) residency training.
Purposes
Determine the rate of procedural complications by IM residents; determine whether there was a correlation between having 1 or more complications and institutional procedural certification status or attending ratings of resident procedural skill competence on the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) monthly evaluation form (ABIM-MEF). Assess if an association exists between procedural complications and in-training examination and ABIM board certification scores.
Methods
We retrospectively reviewed all procedure log sheets, procedural certification status, ABIM-MEF procedural skills ratings, in-training exam and certifying examination (ABIM-CE) scores from the period 1990–1999 for IM residency program graduates from a training program.
Results
Among 69 graduates, 2,212 monthly procedure log sheets and 2,475 ABIM-MEFs were reviewed. The overall complication rate was 2.3/1,000 procedures (95% CI: 1.4–3.1/1,000 procedure). With the exception of procedural certification status as judged by institutional faculty, there was no association between our resident measurements and procedural complications.
Conclusions
Our findings support the need for a resident procedural competence certification system based on direct observation. Our data support the ABIM’s action to remove resident procedural competence from the monthly ABIM-MEF ratings.
doi:10.1007/s11606-006-0068-1
PMCID: PMC1824756  PMID: 17356968
procedural skills; Internal Medicine residency training program; ABIM evaluation
4.  Teaching Internal Medicine Residents Quality Improvement Techniques using the ABIM’s Practice Improvement Modules 
Summary
Introduction/aim
Standard curricula to teach Internal Medicine residents about quality assessment and improvement, important components of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education core competencies practiced-based learning and improvement (PBLI) and systems-based practice (SBP), have not been easily accessible.
Program description
Using the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) Clinical Preventative Services Practice Improvement Module (CPS PIM), we have incorporated a longitudinal quality assessment and improvement curriculum (QAIC) into the 2 required 1-month ambulatory rotations during the postgraduate year 2. During the first block, residents complete the PIM chart reviews, patient, and system surveys. The second block includes resident reflection using PIM data and the group performing a small test of change using the Plan–Do–Study–Act (PDSA) cycle in the resident continuity clinic.
Program Evaluation
To date, 3 resident quality improvement (QI) projects have been undertaken as a result of QAIC, each making significant improvements in the residents’ continuity clinic. Resident confidence levels in QI skills (e.g., writing an aim statement [71% to 96%, P < .01] and using a PDSA cycle [9% to 89%, P < .001]) improved significantly.
Discussion
The ABIM CPS PIM can be used by Internal Medicine residency programs to introduce QI concepts into their residents’ outpatient practice through encouraging practice-based learning and improvement and systems-based practice.
doi:10.1007/s11606-008-0549-5
PMCID: PMC2517947  PMID: 18449612
Internal Medicine residents; quality improvement; practiced-based learning and improvement; systems-based practice; practice improvement module
5.  Charting the Road to Competence: Developmental Milestones for Internal Medicine Residency Training 
Background
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Outcome Project requires that residency program directors objectively document that their residents achieve competence in 6 general dimensions of practice.
Intervention
In November 2007, the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and the ACGME initiated the development of milestones for internal medicine residency training. ABIM and ACGME convened a 33-member milestones task force made up of program directors, experts in evaluation and quality, and representatives of internal medicine stakeholder organizations. This article reports on the development process and the resulting list of proposed milestones for each ACGME competency.
Outcomes
The task force adopted the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition as a framework the internal medicine milestones, and calibrated the milestones with the expectation that residents achieve, at a minimum, the “competency” level in the 5-step progression by the completion of residency. The task force also developed general recommendations for strategies to evaluate the milestones.
Discussion
The milestones resulting from this effort will promote competency-based resident education in internal medicine, and will allow program directors to track the progress of residents and inform decisions regarding promotion and readiness for independent practice. In addition, the milestones may guide curriculum development, suggest specific assessment strategies, provide benchmarks for resident self-directed assessment-seeking, and assist remediation by facilitating identification of specific deficits. Finally, by making explicit the profession's expectations for graduates and providing a degree of national standardization in evaluation, the milestones may improve public accountability for residency training.
doi:10.4300/01.01.0003
PMCID: PMC2931179  PMID: 21975701
6.  Associations between quality indicators of internal medicine residency training programs 
BMC Medical Education  2011;11:30.
Background
Several residency program characteristics have been suggested as measures of program quality, but associations between these measures are unknown. We set out to determine associations between these potential measures of program quality.
Methods
Survey of internal medicine residency programs that shared an online ambulatory curriculum on hospital type, faculty size, number of trainees, proportion of international medical graduate (IMG) trainees, Internal Medicine In-Training Examination (IM-ITE) scores, three-year American Board of Internal Medicine Certifying Examination (ABIM-CE) first-try pass rates, Residency Review Committee-Internal Medicine (RRC-IM) certification length, program director clinical duties, and use of pharmaceutical funding to support education. Associations assessed using Chi-square, Spearman rank correlation, univariate and multivariable linear regression.
Results
Fifty one of 67 programs responded (response rate 76.1%), including 29 (56.9%) community teaching and 17 (33.3%) university hospitals, with a mean of 68 trainees and 101 faculty. Forty four percent of trainees were IMGs. The average post-graduate year (PGY)-2 IM-ITE raw score was 63.1, which was 66.8 for PGY3s. Average 3-year ABIM-CE pass rate was 95.8%; average RRC-IM certification was 4.3 years. ABIM-CE results, IM-ITE results, and length of RRC-IM certification were strongly associated with each other (p < 0.05). PGY3 IM-ITE scores were higher in programs with more IMGs and in programs that accepted pharmaceutical support (p < 0.05). RRC-IM certification was shorter in programs with higher numbers of IMGs. In multivariable analysis, a higher proportion of IMGs was associated with 1.17 years shorter RRC accreditation.
Conclusions
Associations between quality indicators are complex, but suggest that the presence of IMGs is associated with better performance on standardized tests but decreased duration of RRC-IM certification.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-11-30
PMCID: PMC3126786  PMID: 21651768
program quality; Residency Review Committee; American Board of Internal Medicine Certifying Examination
7.  A nomogram to predict the probability of passing the American Board of Internal Medicine examination 
Medical Education Online  2012;17:10.3402/meo.v17i0.18810.
Background
Although the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) certification is valued as a reflection of physicians’ experience, education, and expertise, limited methods exist to predict performance in the examination.
Purpose
The objective of this study was to develop and validate a predictive tool based on variables common to all residency programs, regarding the probability of an internal medicine graduate passing the ABIM certification examination.
Methods
The development cohort was obtained from the files of the Cleveland Clinic internal medicine residents who began training between 2004 and 2008. A multivariable logistic regression model was built to predict the ABIM passing rate. The model was represented as a nomogram, which was internally validated with bootstrap resamples. The external validation was done retrospectively on a cohort of residents who graduated from two other independent internal medicine residency programs between 2007 and 2011.
Results
Of the 194 Cleveland Clinic graduates used for the nomogram development, 175 (90.2%) successfully passed the ABIM certification examination. The final nomogram included four predictors: In-Training Examination (ITE) scores in postgraduate year (PGY) 1, 2, and 3, and the number of months of overnight calls in the last 6 months of residency. The nomogram achieved a concordance index (CI) of 0.98 after correcting for over-fitting bias and allowed for the determination of an estimated probability of passing the ABIM exam. Of the 126 graduates from two other residency programs used for external validation, 116 (92.1%) passed the ABIM examination. The nomogram CI in the external validation cohort was 0.94, suggesting outstanding discrimination.
Conclusions
A simple user-friendly predictive tool, based on readily available data, was developed to predict the probability of passing the ABIM exam for internal medicine residents. This may guide program directors’ decision-making related to program curriculum and advice given to individual residents regarding board preparation.
doi:10.3402/meo.v17i0.18810
PMCID: PMC3475012  PMID: 23078794
board examination; in-training examination; internal medicine; residents; program directors
8.  Effectiveness of a Focused Educational Intervention on Resident Evaluations from Faculty 
OBJECTIVE
To improve the quality and specificity of written evaluations by faculty attendings of internal medicine residents during inpatient rotations.
DESIGN
Prospective randomized controlled trial.
SETTING
Four hospitals: tertiary care university hospital, Veterans' Administration hospital, and two community hospitals.
PARTICIPANTS
Eighty-eight faculty and 157 residents from categorical and primary-care internal medicine residency training programs rotating on inpatient general medicine teams.
INTERVENTION
Focused 20-minute educational session on evaluation and feedback, accompanied by 3 by 5 reminder card and diary, given to faculty at the start of their attending month.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS
Primary outcomes: 1) number of written comments from faculty specific to unique, preselected dimensions of competence; 2) number of written comments from faculty describing a specific resident behavior or providing a recommendation; and 3) resident Likert-scale ratings of the quantity and effect of feedback received from faculty. Faculty in the intervention group provided more written comments specific to defined dimensions of competence, a median of three comments per evaluation form versus two in the control group, but when adjusted for clustering by faculty, the difference was not statistically significant (P = .09). Regarding feedback, residents in the intervention group rated the quantity significantly higher (P = .04) and were significantly more likely to make changes in clinical management of patients than residents in the control group (P = .04).
CONCLUSIONS
A brief, focused educational intervention delivered to faculty prior to the start of a ward rotation appears to have a modest effect on faculty behavior for written evaluations and promoted higher quality feedback given to house staff.
doi:10.1046/j.1525-1497.2001.016007427.x
PMCID: PMC1495246  PMID: 11520379
written evaluation; residents; faculty; educational intervention; controlled trial
9.  Impact on house staff evaluation scores when changing from a Dreyfus- to a Milestone-based evaluation model: one internal medicine residency program's findings 
Medical Education Online  2014;19:10.3402/meo.v19.25185.
Purpose
As graduate medical education (GME) moves into the Next Accreditation System (NAS), programs must take a critical look at their current models of evaluation and assess how well they align with reporting outcomes. Our objective was to assess the impact on house staff evaluation scores when transitioning from a Dreyfus-based model of evaluation to a Milestone-based model of evaluation. Milestones are a key component of the NAS.
Method
We analyzed all end of rotation evaluations of house staff completed by faculty for academic years 2010–2011 (pre-Dreyfus model) and 2011–2012 (post-Milestone model) in one large university-based internal medicine residency training program. Main measures included change in PGY-level average score; slope, range, and separation of average scores across all six Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) competencies.
Results
Transitioning from a Dreyfus-based model to a Milestone-based model resulted in a larger separation in the scores between our three post-graduate year classes, a steeper progression of scores in the PGY-1 class, a wider use of the 5-point scale on our global end of rotation evaluation form, and a downward shift in the PGY-1 scores and an upward shift in the PGY-3 scores.
Conclusions
For faculty trained in both models of assessment, the Milestone-based model had greater discriminatory ability as evidenced by the larger separation in the scores for all the classes, in particular the PGY-1 class.
doi:10.3402/meo.v19.25185
PMCID: PMC4244322  PMID: 25425408
Medical Education-Graduate; Medical Education-assessment methods; Milestones; Next Accreditation System; ACGME core competencies
10.  A Survey of Internal Medicine Residents and Faculty About the Duration of Attendings' Inpatient Rotations 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2004;19(11):1133-1139.
OBJECTIVE
Some training programs are shortening the duration of attendings' rotations from 4 weeks to 2 weeks. Our objective was to determine the effect of 2-week inpatient rotation on self-reported impact on medical education, patient care practices, and faculty performance by internal medicine residents and teaching faculty.
DESIGN
Cross-sectional study using an anonymous mailed and emailed survey.
SETTING
University-based internal medicine residency program in Buffalo, New York that recently introduced 2-week rotations.
PARTICIPANTS
One hundred nineteen residents (99 responded, 83%) and 83 teaching faculty (76 responded, 92%).
MEASUREMENTS
Perceived impact on medical education, patient care, and attending performance on 7-point Likert scales ranging from negative (−3) across neutral (0) to positive (+3) ratings.
RESULTS
In general, residents and attendings felt that the short rotation negatively affects the attending's ability to evaluate residents and some aspects of patient care, but that it has no negative impact on residents' or medical students' learning. Attendings thought the 2-week rotation positively affects their private life and overall productivity. Subgroup analysis indicated that residents who graduated from U.S. medical schools were more pessimistic about the 2-week rotation compared to their international counterparts. Attendings who had completed at least one short rotation had consistently higher ratings of the 2-week rotation.
CONCLUSION
Residents and attendings' perceptions suggest that the shorter attending inpatient rotation might have negative impact on medical education and patient care but positive effects on the attending's work productivity and private life. This tradeoff requires further evaluation including objective medical education and patient care outcomes.
doi:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2004.30408.x
PMCID: PMC1494789  PMID: 15566443
residency; faculty; medical education; patient care; inpatient
11.  New Tools for Systematic Evaluation of Teaching Qualities of Medical Faculty: Results of an Ongoing Multi-Center Survey 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e25983.
Background
Tools for the evaluation, improvement and promotion of the teaching excellence of faculty remain elusive in residency settings. This study investigates (i) the reliability and validity of the data yielded by using two new instruments for evaluating the teaching qualities of medical faculty, (ii) the instruments' potential for differentiating between faculty, and (iii) the number of residents' evaluations needed per faculty to reliably use the instruments.
Methods and Materials
Multicenter cross-sectional survey among 546 residents and 629 medical faculty representing 29 medical (non-surgical) specialty training programs in the Netherlands. Two instruments—one completed by residents and one by faculty—for measuring teaching qualities of faculty were developed. Statistical analyses included factor analysis, reliability and validity exploration using standard psychometric methods, calculation of the numbers of residents' evaluations needed per faculty to achieve reliable assessments and variance components and threshold analyses.
Results
A total of 403 (73.8%) residents completed 3575 evaluations of 570 medical faculty while 494 (78.5%) faculty self-evaluated. In both instruments five composite-scales of faculty teaching qualities were detected with high internal consistency and reliability: learning climate (Cronbach's alpha of 0.85 for residents' instrument, 0.71 for self-evaluation instrument, professional attitude and behavior (0.84/0.75), communication of goals (0.90/0.84), evaluation of residents (0.91/0.81), and feedback (0.91/0.85). Faculty tended to evaluate themselves higher than did the residents. Up to a third of the total variance in various teaching qualities can be attributed to between-faculty differences. Some seven residents' evaluations per faculty are needed for assessments to attain a reliability level of 0.90.
Conclusions
The instruments for evaluating teaching qualities of medical faculty appear to yield reliable and valid data. They are feasible for use in medical residencies, can detect between-faculty differences and supply potentially useful information for improving graduate medical education.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025983
PMCID: PMC3193529  PMID: 22022486
12.  Variability in Ultrasound Education among Emergency Medicine Residencies 
Objective:
Education in emergency ultrasound (EUS) has become an essential part of emergency medicine (EM) resident training. In 2009, comprehensive residency training guidelines were published to ensure proficiency in ultrasound education. The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) recommends that 150 ultrasound exams be performed for physician competency. Our goal is to evaluate the current ultrasound practices among EM residency programs and assess the need for further formalization of EUS training.
Methods:
We generated a survey using an online survey tool and administered via the internet. The survey consisted of 25 questions that included multiple choice and free text answers. These online survey links were sent via email to EM ultrasound directors at all 149 American College of Graduate Medical Education EM residency programs in April 2008. We surveyed programs regarding EUS curriculum and residency proficiency requirements and descriptive statistics were used to report the survey findings.
Results:
Sixty-five residency programs responded to the survey. The average number of ultrasound exams required by programs for EUS competency was 137 scans. However, the majority of programs 42/65 (64%) require their residents to obtain 150 scans or greater for competency. Fifty-one out of 64 (79%) programs reported having a structured ultrasound curriculum while 14/64 (21%) of programs reported that EUS training is primarily resident self-directed. In terms of faculty credentialing, 29/62 (47%) of residency programs have greater than 50% of faculty credentialed. Forty-four out of 61 (72%) programs make EUS a required rotation. Thirty-four out of 63 (54%) programs felt that they were meeting all their goals for resident EUS education.
Conclusion:
Currently discrepancies exist between EM residency programs in ultrasound curriculum and perceived needs for achieving proficiency in EUS. Although a majority of residency programs require 150 ultrasound exams or more to achieve resident competency, overall the average number of scans required by all programs is 137 exams. This number is less than that recommended by ACEP for physician competency. These data suggest that guidelines are needed to help standardize ultrasound training for all EM residency programs.
PMCID: PMC2967679  PMID: 21079699
13.  Night Float Teaching and Learning: Perceptions of Residents and Faculty 
Background
Most internal medicine residency programs use a night float system to comply with resident duty hour limits. Night float assignments often comprise 7 to 10 weeks of scheduled clinical time during training. Despite this substantial allotment of time to night float, few studies have assessed the adequacy of learning opportunities during these rotations. We designed an exploratory study to assess resident and faculty views about the educational aspects of a typical internal medicine night float system.
Methods
Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine internal medicine residents and attending faculty were asked to complete a 25-item voluntary, anonymous survey. A 5-point Likert scale was used to assess perceptions of education during day and night rotations.
Results
The response rate was 52% (85 of 164). Residents rated teaching and learning on day rotations more positively than on night rotations for 17 of 25 (68%) items. Regarding night float, residents rated 14 of 25 items below 3.00; only one item was rated below 3.00 (“…H & P skills observed by attending”) for day rotations. Attending physicians rated day rotations more highly for all 25 survey items. Faculty rated 13 of 25 items below 3.00 for night float and they rated no items below 3.00 for day rotations. Resident and faculty ratings differed significantly for 10 items, with 5 items receiving higher ratings by residents and 5 being rated more positively by faculty.
Conclusion
Despite a substantial allotment of time to night rotations, there appear to be lost teaching and learning opportunities in the current night float system. Modification of the existing format may improve its educational value.
doi:10.4300/JGME-D-10-00005.1
PMCID: PMC2941384  PMID: 21975627
14.  Creative Solution for Implementation of Experiential, Competency-Based Palliative Care Training for Internal Medicine Residents 
To graduate internal medicine residents with basic competency in palliative care, we employ a two-pronged strategy targeted at both residents and attending physicians as learners. The first prong provides a knowledge foundation using web-based learning programs designed specifically for residents and clinical faculty members. The second prong is assessment of resident competency in key palliative care domains by faculty members using direct observation during clinical rotations. The faculty training program contains Competency Assessment Tools addressing 19 topics distributed amongst four broad palliative care domains designed to assist faculty members in making the clinical competency assessments. Residents are required to complete their web-based training by the end of their internship year; they must demonstrate competency in one skill from each of the four broad palliative care domains prior to graduation. Resident and faculty evaluation of the training programs is favorable. Outcome-based measures are planned to evaluate long-term program effectiveness.
doi:10.1007/s13187-011-0235-x
PMCID: PMC3162123  PMID: 21553329
Internal medicine residents; Palliative care; Faculty members; Competency Assessment Tools; Faculty training program
15.  Impact of a 360-degree Professionalism Assessment on Faculty Comfort and Skills in Feedback Delivery 
Background
Professionalism is identified as a competency of resident education. Best approaches to teaching and evaluating professionalism are unknown, but feedback about professionalism is necessary to change practice and behavior. Faculty discomfort with professionalism may limit their delivery of feedback to residents.
Objectives
A pilot program to implement a 360-degree evaluation of observable professionalism behaviors and determine how its use impacts faculty feedback to residents.
Design
Internal Medicine (IM) residents were evaluated during ambulatory rotations using a 360-degree assessment of professional behaviors developed by the National Board of Medical Examiners®. Faculty used evaluation results to provide individual feedback to residents.
Patients/Participants
Fifteen faculty members.
Measurements and Main Results
Faculty completed pre- and post-intervention surveys. Using a 7-point Likert scale, faculty reported increased skill in giving general feedback (4.85 vs 4.36, p < .05) and feedback about professionalism (4.71 vs 3.57, p < .01) after the implementation of the 360-degree evaluation. They reported increased comfort giving feedback about professionalism (5.07 vs 4.35, p < .05) but not about giving feedback in general (5.43 vs 5.50).
Conclusions
A 360-degree professionalism evaluation instrument used to guide feedback to residents improves faculty comfort and self-assessed skill in giving feedback about professionalism.
doi:10.1007/s11606-008-0586-0
PMCID: PMC2517935  PMID: 18612726
professionalism; feedback; 360-degree evaluation; internship; residency
16.  The research rotation: competency-based structured and novel approach to research training of internal medicine residents 
Background
In the United States, the Accreditation Council of graduate medical education (ACGME) requires all accredited Internal medicine residency training programs to facilitate resident scholarly activities. However, clinical experience and medical education still remain the main focus of graduate medical education in many Internal Medicine (IM) residency-training programs. Left to design the structure, process and outcome evaluation of the ACGME research requirement, residency-training programs are faced with numerous barriers. Many residency programs report having been cited by the ACGME residency review committee in IM for lack of scholarly activity by residents.
Methods
We would like to share our experience at Lincoln Hospital, an affiliate of Weill Medical College Cornell University New York, in designing and implementing a successful structured research curriculum based on ACGME competencies taught during a dedicated "research rotation".
Results
Since the inception of the research rotation in 2004, participation of our residents among scholarly activities has substantially increased. Our residents increasingly believe and appreciate that research is an integral component of residency training and essential for practice of medicine.
Conclusion
Internal medicine residents' outlook in research can be significantly improved using a research curriculum offered through a structured and dedicated research rotation. This is exemplified by the improvement noted in resident satisfaction, their participation in scholarly activities and resident research outcomes since the inception of the research rotation in our internal medicine training program.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-6-52
PMCID: PMC1630691  PMID: 17044924
17.  Impact of Resident Well-Being and Empathy on Assessments of Faculty Physicians 
Background
Teaching effectiveness is an important criterion for promoting clinician-educators. However, the relationship between residents’ psychological characteristics and their assessments of faculty physicians is unknown.
Objective
To determine whether residents’ well-being and empathy influenced their assessments of faculty physicians.
Design, Setting, and Participants
We studied 1,191 assessments of 356 faculty physicians by 209 internal medicine residents at a large academic medical center from 2007 to 2008. A repeated measures design with multivariate generalized estimating equations was used to evaluate associations between resident well-being and empathy, and residents’ assessments of faculty.
Measurements
Resident surveys included standardized measures of quality of life, burnout, depression, and empathy. Residents assessed faculty members’ teaching performance with a validated 16-item instrument.
Results
149 residents (71%) provided well-being, empathy, and assessment data. In multivariate models, faculty assessments from the previous year were the strongest predictor of current resident-of-faculty assessment scores. Residents’ Jefferson Scale of Physician Empathy (JSPE) scores were also associated with faculty assessments (beta = 0.0063, 95% CI = 0.0018–0.0108; p = .0061). On this 140-point, 20-item scale, a 10-point increase in empathy correlated with a 0.063-point increase in residents’ assessments of faculty on a 5-point scale. There were no significant associations between residents’ assessments of faculty and quality of life, burnout, or depression.
Conclusions
This study demonstrates that residents’ well-being does not influence their assessments of faculty physicians, thus supporting the trustworthiness of these assessments as a criterion for promoting clinician-educators. However, the association between residents’ empathy and resident-of-faculty assessments suggests that faculty assessments may be modestly influenced by residents’ intrinsic characteristics.
doi:10.1007/s11606-009-1152-0
PMCID: PMC2811588  PMID: 19882191
resident well-being; resident empathy; faculty; clinical teaching; clinician-educator
18.  A Survey of Resident Opinions on Peer Evaluation in a Large Internal Medicine Residency Program 
Background
Starting in the 1960s, studies have suggested that peer evaluation could provide unique insights into the performance of residents in training. However, reports of resident resistance to peer evaluation because of confidentiality issues and the possible impact on their working relationships raised concerns about the acceptability and utility of peer evaluation in graduate medical education. The literature suggests that peers are able to reliably assess communication, interpersonal skills, and professionalism and provide input that may differ from faculty evaluations. This study assessed the attitudes of internal medicine residents 1 year after the implementation of a peer-evaluation system.
Methods
During the 2005–2006 academic year, we conducted an anonymous survey of the 168 residents in the Internal Medicine Residency Program at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. Contingency table analysis was used to compare the response patterns of the groups.
Results
The response rate was 61% (103/168 residents) and it did not differ by year of training. Most residents (74/103; 72%) felt that peers could provide valuable feedback. Eighty percent of residents (82/103) felt the feedback was important for their professional development and 84% (86/102) agreed that peers observe behaviors not seen by attending faculty.
Conclusions
The results of this study suggest that internal medicine residents provide unique assessment of their peers and provide feedback they consider important for their professional development. More importantly, the results support the role of peer evaluation in the assessment of the competencies of professionalism and interpersonal and communication skills.
doi:10.4300/JGME-D-10-00099.1
PMCID: PMC3184905  PMID: 22655133
19.  Psychiatry Resident Education in Palliative Care: Opportunities, Desired Training, and Outcomes of a Targeted Educational Intervention 
Psychosomatics  2011;52(6):530-536.
Objectives
To assess the educational offerings provided to psychiatry residents in palliative care as well as their concomitant interest in learning more about this subspecialty. To measure the pre- and post-levels of competence, concern, and knowledge exhibited by psychiatry residents when completing a formalized clinical rotation in hospice and palliative care, with additional comparisons to family and internal medicine residents completing the same clinical rotation.
Methods
Fifty-two Psychiatry Program Directors and 98 psychiatry residents completed an online survey assessing the current course offerings and level of interest in palliative care. Thirty psychiatry residents were additionally evaluated before and after completion of a clinical rotation in hospice and palliative care.
Results
Few programs offered any formalized training in palliative care, although nearly all psychiatry residents reported interest in this area. A clinical rotation in palliative care significantly increased psychiatry residents’ competence and knowledge while simultaneously decreasing their concerns about practice in this area; most were at levels comparable to family and internal medicine residents completing the same rotation. Psychiatry residents’ knowledge of pain assessment, pain management, and generalized non-pain management were also enhanced during the rotation.
Conclusions
Results indicate that training opportunities in palliative care are lacking for psychiatry residents in the United States although residents report strong interest in this area. This study finds psychiatry residents can benefit as much as other disciplines from receiving palliative care training. The need to offer such training within psychiatry residencies is highlighted and the welcoming of psychiatrists into palliative care is suggested.
doi:10.1016/j.psym.2011.08.002
PMCID: PMC3762465  PMID: 22054622
20.  Burnout and Distress Among Internal Medicine Program Directors: Results of A National Survey 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2013;28(8):1056-1063.
BACKGROUND
Physician burnout and distress has been described in national studies of practicing physicians, internal medicine (IM) residents, IM clerkship directors, and medical school deans. However, no comparable national data exist for IM residency program directors.
OBJECTIVE
To assess burnout and distress among IM residency program directors, and to evaluate relationships of distress with personal and program characteristics and perceptions regarding implementation and consequences of Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) regulations.
DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS
The 2010 Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine (APDIM) Annual Survey, developed by the APDIM Survey Committee, was sent in August 2010 to the 377 program directors with APDIM membership, representing 99.0 % of the 381 United States categorical IM residency programs.
MAIN MEASURES
The 2010 APDIM Annual Survey included validated items on well-being and distress, including questions addressing quality of life, satisfaction with work-life balance, and burnout. Questions addressing personal and program characteristics and perceptions regarding implementation and consequences of ACGME regulations were also included.
KEY RESULTS
Of 377 eligible program directors, 282 (74.8 %) completed surveys. Among respondents, 12.4 % and 28.8 % rated their quality of life and satisfaction with work-life balance negatively, respectively. Also, 27.0 % reported emotional exhaustion, 10.4 % reported depersonalization, and 28.7 % reported overall burnout. These rates were lower than those reported previously in national studies of medical students, IM residents, practicing physicians, IM clerkship directors, and medical school deans. Aspects of distress were more common among younger program directors, women, and those reporting greater weekly work hours. Work–home conflicts were common and associated with all domains of distress, especially if not resolved in a manner effectively balancing work and home responsibilities. Associations with program characteristics such as program size and American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) pass rates were not found apart from higher rates of depersonalization among directors of community-based programs (23.5 % vs. 8.6 %, p = 0.01). We did not observe any consistent associations between distress and perceptions of implementation and consequences of program regulations.
CONCLUSIONS
The well-being of IM program directors across domains, including quality of life, satisfaction with work-life balance, and burnout, appears generally superior to that of medical trainees, practicing physicians, and other medical educators nationally. Additionally, it is reassuring that program directors' perceptions of their ability to respond to current regulatory requirements are not adversely associated with distress. However, the increased distress levels among younger program directors, women, and those at community-based training programs reported in this study are important concerns worthy of further study.
doi:10.1007/s11606-013-2349-9
PMCID: PMC3710382  PMID: 23595924
graduate medical education; residency; burnout; well-being
21.  Teaching About Substance Abuse with Objective Structured Clinical Exams 
BACKGROUND
Although residents commonly manage substance abuse disorders, optimal approaches to teaching these specialized interviewing and intervention skills are unknown.
OBJECTIVE
We developed a Substance Abuse Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) to teach addiction medicine competencies using immediate feedback. In this study we evaluated OSCE performance, examined associations between performance and self-assessed interest and competence in substance abuse, and assessed learning during the OSCE.
DESIGN
Five-station OSCE, including different substance abuse disorders and readiness to change stages, administered during postgraduate year-3 ambulatory rotations for 2 years.
PARTICIPANTS
One hundred and thirty-one internal and family medicine residents.
MEASUREMENTS
Faculty and standardized patients (SPs) assessed residents' general communication, assessment, management, and global skills using 4-point scales. Residents completed a pre-OSCE survey of experience, interest and competence in substance abuse, and a post-OSCE survey evaluating its educational value. Learning during the OSCE was also assessed by measuring performance improvement from the first to the final OSCE station.
RESULTS
Residents performed better (P<.001) in general communication (mean ± SD across stations = 3.12 ± 0.35) than assessment (2.65 ± 0.32) or management (2.58 ± 0.44), and overall ratings were lowest in the contemplative alcohol abuse station (2.50 ± 0.83). Performance was not associated with residents' self-assessed interest or competence. Perceived educational value of the OSCE was high, and feedback improved subsequent performance.
CONCLUSIONS
Although internal and family medicine residents require additional training in specialized substance abuse skills, immediate feedback provided during an OSCE helped teach needed skills for assessing and managing substance abuse disorders.
doi:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2006.00426.x
PMCID: PMC1484780  PMID: 16704387
substance abuse; alcoholism and addictive behaviors; objective structured clinical exam (OSCE); standardized patients; residency evaluation
22.  Clinical instructors' perception of a faculty development programme promoting postgraduate year-1 (PGY1) residents' ACGME six core competencies: a 2-year study 
BMJ Open  2011;1(2):e000200.
Objective
The six core competencies designated by Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) are essential for establishing a patient centre holistic medical system. The authors developed a faculty programme to promote the postgraduate year 1 (PGY1) resident, ACGME six core competencies. The study aims to assess the clinical instructors' perception, attitudes and subjective impression towards the various sessions of the ‘faculty development programme for teaching ACGME competencies.’
Methods
During 2009 and 2010, 134 clinical instructors participated in the programme to establish their ability to teach and assess PGY1 residents about ACGME competencies.
Results
The participants in the faculty development programme reported that the skills most often used while teaching were learnt during circuit and itinerant bedside, physical examination teaching, mini-clinical evaluation exercise (mini-CEX) evaluation demonstration, training workshop and videotapes of ‘how to teach ACGME competencies.’ Participants reported that circuit bedside teaching and mini-CEX evaluation demonstrations helped them in the interpersonal and communication skills domain, and that the itinerant teaching demonstrations helped them in the professionalism domain, while physical examination teaching and mini-CEX evaluation demonstrations helped them in the patients' care domain. Both the training workshop and videotape session increase familiarity with teaching and assessing skills. Participants who applied the skills learnt from the faculty development programme the most in their teaching and assessment came from internal medicine departments, were young attending physician and had experience as PGY1 clinical instructors.
Conclusions
According to the clinical instructors' response, our faculty development programme effectively increased their familiarity with various teaching and assessment skills needed to teach PGY1 residents and ACGME competencies, and these clinical instructors also then subsequently apply these skills.
Article summary
Article focus
In order to train PGY1 residents, we need to help clinical instructors to become familiar with the teaching and assessment skills that form the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education six core-competencies.
Our study used a self-reported questionnaires based analysis to evaluate the clinical instructors' perception to our faculty development programme.
Key messages
Participants reported that their most commonly used skills were learnt from itinerant and circuit bedside teaching, and mini-clinical evaluation exercise evaluation demonstration in our programme.
Participants also reported that the 40 h basic training course improved their abilities to train and assess PGY1 residents in patient care, interpersonal and communication skills, and medical knowledge domains whereas postcourse training workshop and videotape session enhanced their ability in system-based practice, practice-based learning and improvement, and professionalism domains.
A serial follow-up questionnaire suggested that the degree of participant application of skills learnt from our programme increased progressively after finishing the 40 h basic training course, the postcourse training workshop and videotape session.
Strengths and limitations of this study
According to the clinical instructors' responses, our programme effectively increased their familiarity with teaching and assessment skills needed when teaching PGY1 residents' Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education competencies and that these skills were subsequently applies.
This study was limited by the fact that questionnaire used to track and assess the effectiveness of the training programme may have had information and recall bias. In addition, this study had a relatively small sample size and did not contain a control group. However, no controlled educational trials on this subject have been published as yet.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000200
PMCID: PMC3225591  PMID: 22116089
23.  Early Feedback on the Use of the Internal Medicine Reporting Milestones in Assessment of Resident Performance 
Background
The educational milestones were designed as a criterion-based framework for assessing resident progression on the 6 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education competencies.
Objective
We obtained feedback on, and assessed the construct validity and perceived feasibility and utility of, draft Internal Medicine Milestones for Patient Care and Systems-Based Practice.
Methods
All participants in our mixed-methods study were members of competency committees in internal medicine residency programs. An initial survey assessed participant and program demographics; focus groups obtained feedback on the draft milestones and explored their perceived utility in resident assessment, and an exit survey elicited input on the value of the draft milestones in resident assessment. Surveys were tabulated using descriptive statistics. Conventional content analysis method was used to assess the focus group data.
Results
Thirty-four participants from 17 programs completed surveys and participated in 1 of 6 focus groups. Overall, the milestones were perceived as useful in formative and summative assessment of residents. Participants raised concerns about the length and complexity of some draft milestones and suggested specific changes. The focus groups also identified a need for faculty development. In the exit survey, most participants agreed that the Patient Care and Systems-Based Practice Milestones would help competency committees assess trainee progress toward independent practice.
Conclusions
Draft reporting milestones for 2 competencies demonstrated significant construct validity in both the content and response process and the perceived utility for the assessment of resident performance. To ensure success, additional feedback from the internal medicine community and faculty development will be necessary.
doi:10.4300/JGME-D-13-00001.1
PMCID: PMC3771173  PMID: 24404307
24.  Operationalizing the Internal Medicine Milestones–An Early Status Report 
Background
The internal medicine milestones were developed to advance outcomes-based residency training and will play an important role in the next accreditation system.
Innovation
As an element of our program's participation in the internal medicine educational innovations project, we implemented a milestones-based evaluation process in our general medicine and pulmonary-critical care rotations on July 1, 2010.
Measures
Outcomes assessed included survey-rated acceptability to participating faculty, residents, and clinical competency committee members.
Results
Faculty and residents agreed that the milestones promoted a common understanding of what knowledge, skills, and attitudes should be displayed at particular points in residents' professional development and enhanced evaluators' ability to provide specific performance feedback. Most residents and faculty members agreed that the milestones promoted fairness and uniformity in the evaluation process. Clinical competency committee members agreed the milestones improved the quality of information available for deliberations and resulted in more uniform promotion standards. Faculty rated the use of too many milestones per form/tool at a mean of 7.3 (where 1 was minimally problematic, and 10 was maximally problematic) and the potential for evaluator fatigue (mean, 8.2) as the most significant challenges to the use of milestones. Eight of 12 faculty members would recommend milestones in other programs; 4 were uncertain.
Conclusions
Despite logistical challenges, educators and trainees found that milestones promoted a common understanding of what knowledge, skills and attitudes should be displayed at particular stages of training; permitted greater specificity in performance feedback; and enhanced uniformity and fairness in promotion decisions.
doi:10.4300/JGME-D-12-00130.1
PMCID: PMC3613298  PMID: 24404240
25.  Using cloud-based mobile technology for assessment of competencies among medical students 
PeerJ  2013;1:e164.
Valid, direct observation of medical student competency in clinical settings remains challenging and limits the opportunity to promote performance-based student advancement. The rationale for direct observation is to ascertain that students have acquired the core clinical competencies needed to care for patients. Too often student observation results in highly variable evaluations which are skewed by factors other than the student’s actual performance. Among the barriers to effective direct observation and assessment include the lack of effective tools and strategies for assuring that transparent standards are used for judging clinical competency in authentic clinical settings. We developed a web-based content management system under the name, Just in Time Medicine (JIT), to address many of these issues. The goals of JIT were fourfold: First, to create a self-service interface allowing faculty with average computing skills to author customizable content and criterion-based assessment tools displayable on internet enabled devices, including mobile devices; second, to create an assessment and feedback tool capable of capturing learner progress related to hundreds of clinical skills; third, to enable easy access and utilization of these tools by faculty for learner assessment in authentic clinical settings as a means of just in time faculty development; fourth, to create a permanent record of the trainees’ observed skills useful for both learner and program evaluation. From July 2010 through October 2012, we implemented a JIT enabled clinical evaluation exercise (CEX) among 367 third year internal medicine students. Observers (attending physicians and residents) performed CEX assessments using JIT to guide and document their observations, record their time observing and providing feedback to the students, and their overall satisfaction. Inter-rater reliability and validity were assessed with 17 observers who viewed six videotaped student-patient encounters and by measuring the correlation between student CEX scores and their scores on subsequent standardized-patient OSCE exams. A total of 3567 CEXs were completed by 516 observers. The average number of evaluations per student was 9.7 (±1.8 SD) and the average number of CEXs completed per observer was 6.9 (±15.8 SD). Observers spent less than 10 min on 43–50% of the CEXs and 68.6% on feedback sessions. A majority of observers (92%) reported satisfaction with the CEX. Inter-rater reliability was measured at 0.69 among all observers viewing the videotapes and these ratings adequately discriminated competent from non-competent performance. The measured CEX grades correlated with subsequent student performance on an end-of-year OSCE. We conclude that the use of JIT is feasible in capturing discrete clinical performance data with a high degree of user satisfaction. Our embedded checklists had adequate inter-rater reliability and concurrent and predictive validity.
doi:10.7717/peerj.164
PMCID: PMC3792179  PMID: 24109549
Educational technology; Educational measurement; Medical students; Smart phones; Competency based assessment; Direct observation; Medical faculty; Clinical competence; iPhone; miniCEX

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