Effectiveness of educational interventions in improving clinical competence of residents in an internal medicine residency program in Pakistan.
Introduction: Medical education is a continuously evolving field. Training institutes and programs should have a process in place to gather continuous feedback and then make appropriate modifications in order to provide education and training effectively. Our study aimed to assess the effect of a quality improvement cycle approach in using various educational interventions within a residency. Effects were measured on the key educational outcomes of residents, medical knowledge, skills and professional attitudes using results of postgraduate examination with both written and clinical skills components. Methodology: A number of educational interventions were implemented which included changes in work hours with increased time for self-study, new educational activities including a Residents Hour, a Residents Slide Session, Grand Rounds and Journal Clubs, Clinico-pathological conferences, and a two- week postgraduate course for senior residents. Newer and improved assessment tools were also implemented, including an annual in-training mock exam based on the format of the postgraduate examination. Pass rates in postgraduate examinations (Fellow of College of Physicians and Surgeons exam and Member of Royal College of Physicians exam) were compared before and after the interventions to assess the effectiveness of the interventions. Results: The first group of residents after introduction of the educational interventions completed residency training in 2001. Postgraduate exam pass rates (sometimes after two or more attempts) were 59.2% (42 of 71 graduates) before 2001 and 86.4% (38 of 44 graduates after 2001 (p = 0.002). The number of candidates passing the examinations in either their first or second attempts before 2001 was 17 of 42 (40.5%), which increased to 33 of 38 (86.8%) after 2001 (p =