A study was undertaken to determine if use of a structured review instrument (SRI) increased the perceived overall satisfaction with a journal club in a group of emergency medicine residents. Before and 6 months after the introduction of a structured checklist format for article review, a 5-point Likert scale (1 = worst, 5 = best) was used to assess residents' satisfaction with the journal club, as well as the following subsidiary outcome parameters resident and leader workload, educational value in interpreting the medical literature, and application of the information to clinical practice. Additional measured outcome variables included resident attendance and number of articles read per attendee. Continuous and categorical data were compared using the Wilcoxon Rank Sum test and Fisher's exact test, respectively. Following introduction of the SRI, residents were more satisfied with the journal club (3.8 v 3.2, P < .05). There was no change in resident attendance (92% v 71%, P = .65), total articles read (75% v 70%, P = .33), or perceived workload (3.3 v 3.1; P = .3). The use of a SRI was found to increase resident satisfaction and improve the perceived educational value of a journal club without increasing residents' workload or decreasing attendance.