Clinical question: Does team-based learning in residency curricula have an impact on knowledge acquisition and standardized testing performance as compared to traditional lecture-based curricula?
Background: Medical knowledge is traditionally taught to resident physicians in a series of one-hour noontime lectures. With team-based learning (TBL), learners acquire knowledge through advance reading assignments and then learn to apply this knowledge through real-world problem-solving exercises led by a faculty facilitator. In graduate medical education (GME), TBL has been shown to promote learning and teamwork, learner engagement, clinical skills development, and learner and faculty satisfaction. There is limited literature describing its effect on standardized testing performance in GME.
Study design: Single-center, retrospective, cohort study
Setting: University-based internal medicine residency
Synopsis: Residents enrolled in academic years 2011–2012 and 2012–2013 comprised the lecture cohort, and those enrolled in 2015–2016 and 2016–2017 the TBL cohort. Of 120 residents, 60 were in the lecture cohort and 60 in the TBL cohort. The IM-ITE® percent correct scores were higher with TBL than lecture (postgraduate year (PGY) 1, 61.0% versus 55.0%, P <.001; PGY 2, 69.0% versus 59.7%, P <.001; PGY 3, 73.2% versus 61.7%, P <.001). In a multivariable regression analysis of three PGYs combined, the transition from lecture to TBL resulted in an increase in IM-ITE® Z-score of 0.415 (P <.001). Limitations included this being a single-center observational study.
Bottom line: Compared to a lecture-based curriculum, TBL was associated with improved resident medical knowledge acquisition as evidenced by higher IM-ITE® scores.
Citation: Schynoll G, et al. curriculum transition from lecture-based to team-based learning is associated with improved performance on internal medicine in-training examination. J Grad Med Educ. 2021;13(5):691-8.
Dr. Mehta was formerly a unit-based director at the Cleveland Clinic and is now an assistant professor of medicine and a clinician-educator at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, and president of the SHM Lake Erie/Northern Ohio Chapter.