Using a learning coach to teach residents evidence-based medicine

Fam Med. 2012 May;44(5):351-5.


Background and objectives: Medical educators have used multiple interventions to teach evidence-based medicine (EBM) and information mastery. Most of these interventions are applied uniformly to a group of residents. We developed a curriculum to increase residents' EBM and information mastery skills that would meet individual learning needs.

Methods: Two cohorts of second year residents (n=26) in the Family Medicine Residency Program at Brown University participated in the intervention. We delivered the curriculum through monthly individual meetings with a learning coach over 1 year. Before and after participating, residents completed a survey assessing their attitudes toward EBM and a quiz assessing their knowledge of EBM. Semi-structured interviews with each resident were done after the intervention and analyzed using qualitative methods.

Results: At the conclusion of our intervention, residents' attitudes toward EBM and information mastery were overwhelmingly positive, EBM knowledge quiz scores increased by 31.8%, and reported use of EBM in real time during patient encounters increased.

Conclusions: An intervention using a learning coach to provide one-on-one EBM and information mastery instruction to residents improved residents' attitudes, knowledge, and use of both in the clinical setting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / education*
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Internship and Residency / methods*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Qualitative Research
  • Rhode Island