Background: Surgery residents teach medical students; feedback is one critical teaching skill. We investigated whether feedback given by surgery residents to students could be improved through an online spaced education program.
Methods: Surgery residents were randomized to receive either a weekly spaced education e-mail during a 9-month period containing teaching bullets on how to provide effective feedback, or no intervention. Medical students rated the frequency and quality of feedback they received from the residents.
Results: Students reported 45% (67 of 149) of the spaced education residents gave frequent feedback, compared with 31% (55 of 175) of control residents (relative risk [RR], 1.43; P = .016). Students reported resident feedback was "helpful in their learning" in 92% (132 of 143) of their evaluations of spaced education residents, compared with 82% (132 of 161) of their evaluations of control residents (RR, 1.13; P = .01).
Conclusions: Educational programs using feedback bullets e-mailed weekly can significantly improve the frequency and quality of feedback that surgical residents provide medical students.