Resident knowledge acquisition during a block conference series

Fam Med. 2007 Jul-Aug;39(7):498-503.


Objective: This study's objective was to determine whether attendance at lectures in a block conference format improves residents' knowledge.

Methods: Seventeen family medicine residents were tested on the content of 27 lectures delivered in a block conference format over a 6-month period. For each lecture, residents completed a pretest, a short-term posttest, and a long-term posttest (1--3 weeks and 1.5--6 months after each lecture, respectively).

Results: Mean short-term posttest scores were 10.3 points higher for lecture attendees than nonattendees. Mean long-term posttest scores did not differ significantly for attendees (62.2) versus nonattendees (60.0).

Conclusions: Attendance at didactic lectures in a block conference format did not improve resident knowledge over the long term. These results lead us to question the value of a block conference format and raise the possibility that resident learning might be better served by maximizing clinical experiences and minimizing time in conferences.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Congresses as Topic / organization & administration*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • New Jersey