Effect of case-based training for medical residents on confidence, knowledge, and management of inpatient glycemia

Postgrad Med. 2011 Jul;123(4):99-106. doi: 10.3810/pgm.2011.07.2309.


Objective: To determine whether a brief, case-based educational intervention improves resident confidence, knowledge, and management of glycemia in hospitalized patients.

Research design and methods: All 116 medical residents at a large academic medical center were offered a case-based curriculum on the management of inpatient glycemia in fall 2008. Residents on ambulatory and elective rotations were taught in small groups, whereas all others underwent online training. All participants were offered a brief online refresher course in spring 2009. We assessed resident confidence across 9 domains of treating inpatient dysglycemia, knowledge based on 4 questions before the course, a 23-part questionnaire after the intervention, and changes in resident behavior as documented in chart abstractions.

Results: One hundred eight (93.1%) residents completed initial training, and 102 (87.9%) completed the refresher course. The share of scores indicating that residents felt "somewhat comfortable" or "completely comfortable" treating inpatient dysglycemia increased from 62.5% before the course to 94.3% (P<0.001) after the initial intervention and 92.8% (P<0.001) after the refresher. Knowledge scores improved from 72.2% correct answers to 88.9% (P<0.001) for the 4 questions asked before and after the course. Across all 23 questions posed after the initial course, residents answered 86.1% correctly and maintained a score of 85.5% after the refresher course. Online-trained residents, at 89.7%, outscored their classroom-trained peers (82.3%; P<0.001) after the initial course. Chart abstractions did not show any significant changes in managing glycemia.

Conclusion: A curriculum on the management of inpatient glycemia was broadly adopted by medical residents at a large academic medical center and led to greater confidence and knowledge among residents. Further expansion to other health care providers and hospitals using a Web-based format and incorporation of updated guidelines is needed to confirm and build on these encouraging results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Blood Glucose / physiology*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Curriculum
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / diagnosis
  • Hyperglycemia / therapy
  • Hypoglycemia / diagnosis
  • Hypoglycemia / therapy
  • Internship and Residency*


  • Blood Glucose