A multi-institutional survey of internal medicine residents' learning habits

Med Teach. 2010;32(9):773-5. doi: 10.3109/01421591003692698.


Background: Resident physicians are expected to demonstrate medical knowledge. However, little is known about the residents' reading habits and learning preferences.

Aim: To assess residents' reading habits and preferred educational resources.

Methods: Residents at five internal medicine training programs were surveyed regarding their reading and learning habits and preferences.

Results: The majority (77.7%) of residents reported reading less than 7 h a week. Most residents (81.4%) read in response to patient care encounters. The preferred educational format was electronic; 94.6% of residents cited UpToDate as the most effective resource for knowledge acquisition, and 88.9% of residents reported that UpToDate was their first choice for answering clinical questions.

Conclusions: Residents spent little time reading and sought knowledge primarily from electronic resources. Most residents read in the context of patient care. Future research should focus on strategies for helping resident physicians learn in the electronic age.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection
  • Humans
  • Information Seeking Behavior*
  • Internal Medicine / education*
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Learning
  • Patient Care / methods
  • Reading
  • Time Factors
  • United States