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Abstracts of Posters Presented at the International Anesthesia Research Society; 72nd Clinical and Scientific Congress; Orlando, FL; March 7-11, 1998: Education & Patient Safety


Bennie, R. MD; Dierdorf, S. MD; London, S. AMLS; Sheplock, G. MD; Means, L. MD

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doi: 10.1097/00000539-199802001-00158
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Abstract S159

Lectures are the traditional method of classroom instruction for residents. [1] The explosion of medical information makes it impossible to present the vast body of knowledge to learners. They must be taught to access, critically evaluate, and apply information. This report describes the evolution of anesthesia didactics from lecture format to a collaborative, resident-driven, "hands-on" learning format.

METHODS. CA2 residents were surveyed about computer use. Results influenced the project design. In order to encourage electronic acquisition of information in preparation for life-long learning, School of Medicine librarians participated in the project. The library's computer education coordinators met with residents and instructed them in the library's electronic services available to healthcare providers statewide. A faculty-delivered lecture format was discontinued and changed to the: a) small group discussions, b) hands-on workshops, and c) resident oral presentations. Topics addressed were based on chapters in a standard anesthesia text. Small group discussions were directed by faculty with residents leading discussion. Hands-on workshops (fiberoptic intubation techniques and transesophageal echocardiogram) were lead by two to four faculty each.

RESULTS. Nineteen CA2 residents participated in the program. Only 7 owned a computer. The precourse survey revealed that 8 residents were deficient in "computer basics", i.e. turning on a computer, loading software, etc. When asked how they envisioned using computers, the majority (12) reported accessing medical information. Based on this data, computer work stations were made available. These work stations permitted access to basic computer literacy materials, resources for anesthesia case-based discussions, self-evaluation materials, and a broad range of medically related resource materials. To demonstrate literacy in basic computer skills, residents prepared computer-generated supplemental material to accompany their oral presentation.

DISCUSSION. The goals of CA2 education are to expand knowledge of basic anesthesia principles and investigate specialized anesthesia topics by resident-driven mechanisms. The lack of basic computer skills prompted instruction and increased access to computers. By utilizing computer educational tools, small groups, and self-directed learning strategies, residents took primary responsibility for acquiring educational material. Utilization of experts for instruction in the acquisition of medical information promoted future patterns for obtaining medical knowledge. Tools for accessing medical information electronically are readily available to all practitioners, including those in private practice, thus providing mechanisms and strategies for life-long learning.


1. Anesth Analg 1992; 74:112-115.
© 1998 International Anesthesia Research Society