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Residents’ knowledge of quality improvement: the impact of using a group project curriculum
  1. Katherine Duello1,
  2. Irene Louh2,
  3. Hope Greig3,
  4. Nancy Dawson4
  1. 1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida, USA
  2. 2Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York, USA
  3. 3Health Care Engineering, Department of Operations Administration, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida, USA
  4. 4Division of Hospital Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nancy Dawson, Division of Hospital Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 4500 San Pablo Road South, Jacksonville, FL 32224, USA; dawson.nancy11{at}


Background The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requires residents to learn and demonstrate proficiency in practice improvement. Quality improvement (QI) projects are a way to improve patient care as well as facilitate education on this core competency. There are inherent barriers to completing these goals in the structure of residency training including rigorous resident schedules and a limited number of projects and resources.

Objectives We developed a QI programme using an experiential class project and incorporated it into our Internal Medicine Resident Core Curriculum to improve the residents’ knowledge of QI methods. We assessed the residents’ experience, knowledge and interest in practice and QI subject matter with a survey preimplementation and postimplementation.

Methods In 2009, 24 residents in the Internal Medicine resident programme completed a survey measuring their experience, knowledge and interest in QI initiatives. They then completed a QI 1-year programme, with monthly, 1-hour sessions combining didactics and a resident-designed project. At the conclusion of the year, the residents completed the same survey, and the results were compared and analysed.

Results Postcurriculum questionnaires revealed residents were more knowledgeable about QI methods, showing improvement in knowledge about institutional-wide QI projects, better preparation for implementing a QI project, and more likely to participate in QI in the future. The project completed was one which improved patients’ knowledge of their anticipated date of discharge from the hospital.

Conclusions A class quality project can teach QI to residents incorporating both didactic and practical methods to maximise the experience and minimise the barriers. We found that this method improved residents experience, knowledge and interest in quality initiatives.

  • EDUCATION & TRAINING (see Medical Education & Training)

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