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Iterative approach to journal club
  1. Rebekah Mynatt Summey1,
  2. Whitney Leonard1,
  3. Kristan Schiele2,
  4. Sigrid Tristan1,
  5. Amy Young1,
  6. Emily Vinas1,
  7. James Stuart Ferriss1,3
  1. 1 Women's Health, University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School, Austin, Texas, USA
  2. 2 University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School, Austin, Texas, USA
  3. 3 Gynecology and Obstetrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr James Stuart Ferriss, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA; jferris3{at}


To identify, evaluate and refine a journal club (JC) format that increases faculty and resident engagement. An initial needs assessment followed by a trial of three JC formats: traditional single presenter, debate style and facilitated small group discussion was piloted over 6 months. Anonymous feedback was collected. The facilitated small group format was chosen. Narrative and quantitative feedback were collected from residents and faculty at 6-month intervals for the next 24 months. Changes to the format were made using feedback. Fourteen residents (n=20, 70%) and 10 faculty (n=20, 50%) completed baseline surveys. We initially observed low resident (8/14, 57%) interest in JCs. Additionally, 9/14 (64%) of residents and 1/15 (7%) of faculty reported low confidence presenting articles publicly. After implementation of the new JC format, resident reported enjoyment, on a scale of 1–5, improved from 3.6 to 4.4 (p<0.01). We observed improvement in resident confidence in the ability to critique a paper (2.7 to 4.1, p<0.01) and in confidence speaking in front of both peers (3.8 to 4.6, p<0.01) and faculty (3.0 to 3.8, p=0.04). Faculty confidence with literature critique decreased (from 4.2 to 3.8), but enjoyment remained stable (4.3 to 4.2). A facilitated small group JC format was preferred in our programme. We observed measurable improvements in both resident interest and confidence, as well as sustained faculty interest in JCs. We fostered an environment of inquiry and identified areas of continued professional development.

  • medical education & training

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  • A subset of the data in this manuscript were presented in poster format at the Association of Professors in Gynecology and Obstetrics Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology Annual Meeting, National Harbor, MD, 29 February–3 March 2018.

  • Contributors RMS participated in journal club design and improvement and wrote the manuscript. WL participated in journal club design and improvement and edited the manuscript. SK performed background research and edited the manuscript. ST and AY contributed to didactic and curricular design, provided departmental support, and approved the manuscript. EV provided educational direction and critical review of the manuscript. JSF designed the study and survey questions, assisted in writing the manuscript and takes full responsibility for its content.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.