The Flipped Journal Club

West J Emerg Med. 2018 Jan;19(1):23-27. doi: 10.5811/westjem.2017.11.34465. Epub 2017 Dec 22.


Introduction: Educators struggle to develop a journal club format that promotes active participation from all levels of trainees. The explosion of social media compels residencies to incorporate the evaluation and application of these resources into evidence-based practice. We sought to design an innovative "flipped journal club" to achieve greater effectiveness in meeting goals and objectives among residents and faculty.

Methods: Each journal club is focused on a specific clinical question based on a landmark article, a background article, and a podcast or blog post. With the "flipped" model, residents are assigned to prepare an in-depth discussion of one of these works based on their level of training. At journal club, trainees break into small groups and discuss their assigned readings with faculty facilitation. Following the small-group discussions, all participants convene to summarize key points. In redesigning our journal club, we sought to achieve specific educational outcomes, and improve participant engagement and overall impressions.

Results: Sixty-one residents at our emergency medicine program participated in the flipped journal club during the 2015-2016 academic year, with supervision by core faculty. Program evaluation for the flipped journal club was performed using an anonymous survey, with response rates of 70% and 56% for residents and faculty, respectively. Overall, 95% of resident respondents and 100% of faculty respondents preferred the flipped format.

Conclusion: The "flipped journal club" hinges upon well-selected articles, incorporation of social media, and small-group discussions. This format engages all residents, holds learners accountable, and encourages greater participation among residents and faculty.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Medical, Graduate
  • Emergency Medicine / education*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / education*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / methods*
  • Learning
  • Periodicals as Topic*
  • Physicians
  • Program Evaluation
  • Reading*
  • Social Media / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires