Back to Journals » Advances in Medical Education and Practice » Volume 9

Asking what do residents value most: a recent overview of internal medicine residents’ learning preferences

Authors Caton JB, Pelletier SR, Shields HM

Received 16 February 2018

Accepted for publication 17 April 2018

Published 5 July 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 509—518


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Md Anwarul Majumder

Julia B Caton,1 Stephen R Pelletier,2 Helen M Shields1

1Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA; 2Center for Evaluation, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Background: Little is known about the preferred learning experiences of today’s internal medicine residents. We conducted a survey of the educational experiences in an internal medicine residency to determine the learning opportunities internal medicine residents value most and why.
Methods: An online, anonymous survey of 182 internal medicine residents was performed, with each resident receiving a survey each day over nine days. Participants were asked to state their most valuable learning experience over the past day, describe why it was valuable, and rank it on a 5-point Likert-type scale. Resident free-text responses were coded and grouped into themes. The location of and participants in the experience were also examined.
Results: The 182 residents completed a total of 303 surveys. Of the 303 surveys, 92% (N=277) of the responses noted their chosen learning experience was useful. An attending was involved in 50% (N=152) of experiences; the patient was noted as a participant in 8% (N=25) of experiences. Free-text responses were coded into five thematic groups descriptive of why residents found their learning experiences to be valuable: Repetition in Learning, Effective Pedagogy, Clinical Problem Solving as an Individual or Collaboratively, Opportunity for Active Engagement, and Bedside Learning.
Conclusion: Our data provide a broader framework for designing and implementing future faculty development and resident curricula that emphasize interprofessional education and the patient as a key educational figure.

Keywords: residency, effective pedagogy, learning experience, educational modalities, resident learning, interprofessional education

Two Letters to the Editor have been received and published for this article
Mohammad and Shenoy
Sundar and Lee

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]