ABSTRACT: Implementation of a “Flipped Classroom” for Neurosurgery Resident Education
Engaging residents across a multiyear training spectrum is challenging given the heterogeneity of experience and limited time available for educational activities. A “flipped classroom” model, in which residents prepare ahead of time for mentored topic discussions, has potential advantages.
We implemented a curriculum consisting of topics distributed across the specialty. Weekly, each resident was randomly assigned to research a specific aspect of an assigned topic appropriate to his or her level of experience: junior residents about what characterizes each clinical entity, midlevel residents about when to intervene, and chief residents about how to administer treatment. Residents completed an anonymous survey 6 months after implementation. Board examination performance was assessed before and after implementation.
A total of 12 residents participated in the program. Weekly, 1.75±0.40 hours were spent in preparation, with senior residents reporting less time than junior residents. All residents indicated that the accumulation of experience across 7 years of residency was a major advantage of this program, and all preferred it to lectures. Performance on the board examination significantly increased after implementation (from 316±36 to 468±45, p<0.05).
The flipped classroom is a viable approach to resident education and is associated with increased engagement and improved performance using validated knowledge-assessment tools.