Ahead of Print: Mobile and Digital Curriculum in Neurosurgery Residency Education

Background: Changes in neurosurgical practice and graduate medical education impose new challenges for training programs.

Objective: We present our experience providing neurosurgical residents with digital and mobile educational resources in support of the departmental academic activities.

Methods: A weekly mandatory conference program for all clinical residents based on the ACGME competencies, held in protected time, was introduced. Topics were taught through didactic sessions and case discussions. Faculty and residents prepare high-quality presentations, equivalent to peer-review leading papers or case reports. Presentations are video-recorded, stored in a digital library, and broadcasted through our website and iTunes U. Residents received mobile tablet devices with remote access to the digital library, applications for document/video management, and interactive teaching tools.

Results: Residents responded to an anonymous survey, and performances on the SANS Examination before and after the intervention were compared. 92% reported increased time used to study outside the hospital and attributed the habit change to the introduction of mobile devices. 67% used the electronic tablets as the primary tool to access the digital library, followed by 17% hospital computers, 8% home computers, and 8% personal laptops. 42% have submitted operative videos, cases, and documents to the library. One year after introducing the program, results of the CNS-SANS examination showed a statistically significant improvement in global scoring and improvement in 16 of the 18 individual areas evaluated, 6 of which reached statistical significance.

Conclusion: A structured, competency-based neurosurgical education program supported with digital and mobile resources improved reading habits among residents and performance on the CNS-SANS examination.

From: Effects of Mobile and Digital Support for a Structured, Competency-Based Curriculum in Neurosurgery Residency Education by Gonzalez et al.

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