Associations of Conference Attendance With Internal Medicine In-Training Examination Scores

McDonald, Furman S.; Zeger, Scott L.; Kolars, Joseph C.
April 2008
Mayo Clinic Proceedings;Apr2008, Vol. 83 Issue 4, p449
Academic Journal
OBJECTIVE: To examine the association of medical knowledge acquisition with attendance at specific conference types during internal medicine residency. PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: Attendance at residency core curriculum, morbidity and mortality, and medical grand rounds conferences was tracked for 195 residents who took the internal Medicine in-Training Examination (IM-ITE) 421 times while attending the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Mayo Clinic's site in Rochester, MN, between October 1, 1999, and October 1, 2003. Random effects modeling was used to adjust for variables known or hypothesized to be associated with IM-ITE scores and allowed discrimination of effects of individual conferences on IM-ITE scores. RESULTS: Total conference attendance was significantly associated with increased IM-ITE scores, with cohort mean increase of 2.30% (95% confidence interval [Cl], 1.24% to 3.36%; P<.001). Core curriculum conferences accounted for much more of this association than either medical grand rounds or morbidity and mortality, with cohort mean increases of 2.05% (95% Cl, 0.13% to 3.90%; P=.04), 0.24% (95% Cl, -0.56% to 1.03%; P=.61), and 0.03% (95% Cl, -1.69% to 1.69%; P=.97), respectively. CONCLUSION: Conference attendance is associated with improved knowledge acquisition as measured by improved performance on IM-ITE. This finding does not appear to apply to all conferences at our institution but rather is specifically attributable to attendance at the core curriculum series.


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