Implementation of an evidence-based medicine curriculum in a fellowship program: Can it influence clinical practice?

Gerontol Geriatr Educ. 2020 Jun 11;1-10. doi: 10.1080/02701960.2020.1777409. Online ahead of print.


While evidence-based medicine (EBM) curricula improves knowledge scores, correlation with physician behavior, and patient outcomes are not clear. We established an EBM curriculum for Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine fellows that included didactic teaching, opportunity for deliberate practice and presentation, and coaching and feedback from faculty experts, to determine the impact on self-assessed confidence in teaching EBM, Practice-Based Learning and Improvement (PBLI) competency rating and patient care decisions. Seventeen fellows at a New York City academic medical center participated during 2014-2015 academic year. We analyzed pre-/posttest surveys for self-assessed confidence in teaching EBM concepts, EBM worksheets for content of clinical questions and impact on patient care, and PBLI competency ratings for overall impact. Posttest survey indicated that fellows' self-assessed confidence in teaching EBM increased significantly. While most found Journal Club discussions and EBM case conferences valuable, only 36% of fellows found EBM worksheets completion to be good use of time (average completion time 89 minutes). EBM worksheets helped reinforce or change plan of care in 32 out of 50 cases. There was no impact on end-of-the-year PBLI ratings. This curriculum, integrating didactic, self-directed and peer learning with objective feedback, increased self-assessed confidence in teaching EBM, and influenced patient care plans.

Keywords: Evidence-based medicine; curriculum development; evidence-based decision making; geriatrics fellowship; graduate medical education.