Background Variable patients and diverse faculty teaching and practice patterns lead to inconsistent training in consultative general internal medicine skills at our institution. Housestaff and students have reported poor use of previously provided supplemental reading materials. We created a Web site to help standardize and promote independent learning.
Methods The consultation Web site was created in July 2005 using the WebCT Vista course management system (<http://lss.at.ufl.edu>). Each resident and medical student has a unique identifier and password. The site is divided into “Policies” (goals and objectives, syllabus, examples of appropriate consultation reports); “Lecture Materials” (eg, effective medical consultation, preoperative assessment, evaluation of clinical practice guidelines, electrolyte disorders, differential diagnosis of dementia); and “References” (eg, clinical guidelines and reviews of perioperative risk stratification, management of perioperative deep venous thrombosis, preoperative assessment for bariatric surgery, and communication with referring physicians). The syllabus instructs learners to complete reading assignments within the 2-week rotation period. At the conclusion of the rotation, residents and students present a critique of a clinical practice guideline pertaining to consultative medicine and take a 20-item quiz created from board-review materials. The WebCT system includes use tracking tools enabling the instructor to determine individual learners' reading and study habits. Learners can continue to access the site indefinitely.
Results Preliminary data after 12 months show a high rate of Web site use by housestaff during their consultation rotations. Screenshots from the Web site and data quantifying specific component use and learners' qualitative feedback will be presented in poster format.
Conclusions A Web site can creatively encourage independent reading and help standardize a medical consultation curriculum. Web site administrative tools allow instructors to quantify learners' reading.
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