Linking Medical Residents to Training: An Analysis of Training Needs

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Objective: To determine what information training needs and behaviors medical residents have such as (1) information training provided by attending physicians, (2) formal evidence-based medicine (EBM) training programs, (3) information training provided by medical librarians, (4) preferred topics for information training, and (5) the desire to have a clinical librarian.

Methods: A survey analysis was conducted of 217 medical residents from the 2005/06 class in surgery, family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and pathology on their training needs and behaviors with a return rate of 48.4%. Quantitative analysis was performed with the SPSS (v. 14.0 for Windows) software program. The results were expressed in percents in graphical or tabular form. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics (frequencies, mean, median, and mode) and inferential statistics (Mann-Whitney U test and chi-square test.)

Results: Sixty-one percent of residents indicated that they had received clinical information training from their attending physicians. Sixty-four percent of residents indicated they had formal EBM training in their program. Sixty-nine percent indicated they had received clinical information training from medical librarians. The top two training topics desired by residents were an overview of all available library resources and services and instruction on searching databases. Eighty-three percent of residents indicated that they would like a clinical medical librarian (CML) for their program. The Cramer’s V statistic indicated a moderately strong relationship between residency program and desire for a CML.

Conclusions: The desire for instruction by residents from librarians is strong. Medical librarians must more aggressively seek to provide instructional opportunities for medical residents. Librarians must periodically survey residents as to the content, time, and place where this instruction takes place so that it might be best utilized by residents.


Chicago, IL

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