Teaching Risk Management: Addressing ACGME Core Competencies

J Grad Med Educ. 2010 Dec;2(4):589-94. doi: 10.4300/JGME-D-10-00084.1.


Background: Risk management is an important aspect of education for all residents. Unfortunately, few curricula currently exist to fulfill this educational need.

Objective: We developed a curriculum that teaches residents basic principles of risk management with the goals of (1) educating residents about the medical-legal environment in which they operate, (2) helping residents identify common malpractice exposures, and (3) teaching practical risk management/patient safety interventions that can be implemented in their practice that could reduce malpractice exposure and improve patient safety.

Methods: The curriculum was developed by Medical Risk Management, LLC, a Connecticut-based risk management firm, in conjunction with academic leadership at the University of Connecticut. The program uses 3 learning modalities: live lectures, web-based video modules, and e-mailed learning publications. Gains in resident knowledge through participation in the curriculum were measured using pretests and posttests. Learner satisfaction with the curriculum was measured through web-based surveys.

Results: We found a significant improvement in knowledge in residents who took the pretest and posttest (P < .001). Of the survey respondents, 97% said the content was relevant to their specialty practice and 95% responded that these sessions should be held annually. Most respondents indicated they would change their practice as a result of what they learned from the live lectures.

Conclusion: This risk management curriculum has been successful in providing our residents with learning activities in risk management, improving their knowledge of risk management principles, and changing their attitudes and behaviors. These improvements may lead to fewer malpractice claims against them and the hospitals they train in.