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1.  Using television shows to teach communication skills in internal medicine residency 
Background
To address evidence-based effective communication skills in the formal academic half day curriculum of our core internal medicine residency program, we designed and delivered an interactive session using excerpts taken from medically-themed television shows.
Methods
We selected two excerpts from the television show House, and one from Gray's Anatomy and featured them in conjunction with a brief didactic presentation of the Kalamazoo consensus statement on doctor-patient communication. To assess the efficacy of this approach a set of standardized questions were given to our residents once at the beginning and once at the completion of the session.
Results
Our residents indicated that their understanding of an evidence-based model of effective communication such as the Kalamazoo model, and their comfort levels in applying such model in clinical practice increased significantly. Furthermore, residents' understanding levels of the seven essential competencies listed in the Kalamazoo model also improved significantly. Finally, the residents reported that their comfort levels in three challenging clinical scenarios presented to them improved significantly.
Conclusion
We used popular television shows to teach residents in our core internal medicine residency program about effective communication skills with a focus on the Kalamazoo's model. The results of the subjective assessment of this approach indicated that it was successful in accomplishing our objectives.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-9-9
PMCID: PMC2642813  PMID: 19187563
2.  Real time curriculum map for internal medicine residency 
Background
To manage the voluminous formal curriculum content in a limited amount of structured teaching time, we describe the development and evaluation of a curriculum map for academic half days (AHD) in a core internal medicine residency program.
Methods
We created a 3-year cyclical curriculum map (an educational tool combining the content, methodology and timetabling of structured teaching), comprising a matrix of topics under various specialties/themes and corresponding AHD hours. All topics were cross-matched against the ACP-ASIM in-training examination, and all hours were colour coded based on the categories of core competencies. Residents regularly updated the map on a real time basis.
Results
There were 208 topics covered in 283 AHD hours. All topics represented core competencies with minimal duplication (78% covered once in 3 years). Only 42 hours (15%) involved non-didactic teaching, which increased after implementation of the map (18–19 hours/year versus baseline 5 hours/year). Most AHD hours (78%) focused on medical expert competencies. Resident satisfaction (90% response) was high throughout (range 3.64 ± 0.21, 3.84 ± 0.14 out of 4), which improved after 1 year but returned to baseline after 2 years.
Conclusion
We developed and implemented an internal medicine curriculum map based on real time resident input, with minimal topic duplication and high resident satisfaction. The map provided an opportunity to balance didactic versus non-didactic teaching, and teaching on medical versus non medical expert topics.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-7-42
PMCID: PMC2186308  PMID: 17988402

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