The effect of an evidence-based medicine curriculum on breast cancer knowledge and satisfaction of surgical residents

Ian K. Komenaka, Meredith A. Heberer, Patrick J. O'Neill, Chiu-Hsieh Hsu, Elizabeth M. Nesset, Ross F. Goldberg, Lisa M. Winton, Marcia E. Bouton, Daniel M. Caruso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Objective The current study was performed to determine if evidence-based medicine (EBM) curriculum would affect education of surgical residents. Design A 5-year prospective study was designed to determine if EBM curriculum could improve residents' satisfaction and understanding of breast cancer management during a breast surgical oncology rotation. During the first 2 years, 45 journal articles were used. During the subsequent 3 years, journal articles were not used. The proportion of patients seen in clinic was collected as an objective measure of the "effort" made by the resident. The final assessment was a 120-question examination. Setting Maricopa Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ. Safety net institution with General Surgery residency program. Participants Postgraduate year 2 general surgery residents. Results Over 5 years, 30 postgraduate year 2 residents were involved. Univariate analysis showed that female sex (p = 0.04), residents with peer-reviewed publications (p = 0.03), younger age (p = 0.04), American Board of Surgery in-service training examination score (p = 0.01), and clinical effort (p < 0.01) were associated with higher scores. Although residents taught using the journal articles scored 7 points higher on the final examination, this was not significant (p = 0.10). Multivariate analysis showed that American Board of Surgery in-service training examination score and clinic efficiency remained statistically significant. Residents who were taught using the EBM curriculum had significantly higher satisfaction (4.4 vs 3.5, p = 0.001) compared with those who did not go through the EBM curriculum. Conclusions The current study demonstrates that an EBM curriculum significantly improved resident satisfaction with the rotation. The EBM curriculum may improve residents' breast cancer knowledge. The most important predictor of resident performance was the effort of resident.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-725
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2015



  • education
  • evidence-based medicine
  • resident
  • satisfaction
  • trainee
  • training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education

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