Thursday, July 2, 2015

A Mixed-Methods Analysis of a Monthly Online Reflective Journal Targeting Resident Leadership Ability, Professionalism, And Ethical Behavior

Jeffrey Schlaudecker, MD, MEd, FHM
University of Cincinnati

Graduate medical education requires residency programs to focus curricula on professionalism, ethical behavior, and leadership ability, but effective methods to teach these skills are still needed. An asynchronous reflective journaling curriculum based on a monthly reflection for a family medicine training program was created on a web-based discussion board. A mixed methods evaluation of two years of this curriculum was completed involving qualitative review of resident individual postings and an anonymous survey. 'Exploration of Medicine' (EOM) is a novel, asynchronous, reflective journaling curriculum that was successful and well-accepted by residents. Thirty residents were involved over the 24 months evaluated, averaging 75% monthly participation. The curriculum was felt to improve professionalism and encourage ethical behavior by a majority of residents. 75% of respondents felt that EOM was an effective way to interact with residency colleagues, and 72% preferred EOM to traditional journal club. Qualitative analysis using a validated tool of the 343 analyzed posts yielded a variety of thoughtful responses as determined by qualitative analysis, but did not exhibit evidence of improved reflective journaling quality over time and did not show association between resident year of training and quality of posting. As residency programs seek curricula in leadership, professionalism, and ethical behavior, the experience of one program’s highly successful and well-accepted use of a web-based, monthly, asynchronous, required reflective journaling program should be considered.