Teaching Lifelong Research Skills in Residency: Implementation and Outcome of a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Course

Seth Himelhoch, Sarah Edwards, Mark Ehrenreich, M. Philip Luber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: There is rising concern that fundamental scientific principles critical to lifelong learning and scientific literacy are not sufficiently addressed during residency.

OBJECTIVE: We describe the development, implementation, and evaluation of a systematic review and meta-analysis course designed to improve residents' research literacy.

INTERVENTION: We developed and implemented a novel, interactive, web-enhanced course for third-year psychiatry residents to provide the theoretical and methodological tools for conducting and reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The course is based on Bloom's learning model, and established criteria for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Eight sequential learning objectives were linked to 8 well-specified assignments, with the objectives designed to build on one another and lead to the creation of a scientific manuscript.

RESULTS: From 2010-2014, 54 third-year psychiatry residents (19 unique groups) successfully completed the course as part of a graduation requirement. The majority rated the course as being good or very good, and participants reported a statistically significant increase in their confidence to conduct systematic reviews (χ(2) = 23.3, P < .05) and meta-analyses (Fisher exact test, P < .05). Estimated total dedicated resident and faculty time over a period of 36 weeks was 36 to 72 hours and 60 hours, respectively. Residents' academic productivity included 11 conference presentations and 4 peer-reviewed published manuscripts, with 2 residents who were awarded honors for their projects.

CONCLUSIONS: A formal training course in systematic reviews and meta-analyses offers a valuable learning experience, which enhances residents' research skills and academic productivity in a feasible and sustainable approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-450
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of graduate medical education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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