Background: Multiple professional societies have issued practice guidelines that provide up-to-date evidence-based recommendations and expert opinions on patient care in the field of gastroenterology (GI). While most physicians are aware that formal guidelines exist, these GI guidelines have not been integrated into academic training curricula in most of the top-ranked GI fellowship programs.
Methods: Two fellows in the Ochsner GI fellowship program (the control group) reviewed 14 current American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy guidelines deemed essential for GI fellowship training and wrote 200 questions based on these guidelines. Four additional fellows (the experimental group) had no knowledge of which articles would be tested. A 14-week curriculum focused on reviewing the guidelines. All 6 fellows took a pretest before the guideline review and then took a postreview test. All of the participating GI fellows completed a survey evaluating the perceived effectiveness of the formal guideline testing.
Results: The experimental group had a 33% improvement in test scores between the pre- and posttest, while the control group had a 7% improvement. The survey showed that 100% of the fellows felt more secure in their knowledge of the guidelines and would recommend that this learning format be implemented into the annual academic curriculum. All also agreed that this format provided evidence-based knowledge to improve patient safety and provide optimal patient care.
Conclusion: We plan to continue formal practice guideline reviews in our fellowship and believe this format would benefit other medical training programs as well.
Keywords: Graduate medical education; patient safety; practice guidelines as topic.