Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Effect of a case-based online discussion forum on resident professionalism skills and knowledge

Amy Elizabeth Hall

Data is provided by the student.


Teaching professionalism in graduate medical education is required by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Program directors face several challenges in developing and implementing methods to effectively teach professionalism. However, the benefits of implementing an effective method can lead to improved resident performance and knowledge, patient care outcomes, and teamwork interactions. A research study was developed to investigate the effects of a professionalism traditional lecture versus a professionalism traditional lecture and a case-based, online discussion forum on residents professionalism skills as measured by the Professionalism Mini-Evaluation Exercise (P-MEX) and professionalism knowledge as measured by a posttest while controlling for postgraduate year level and program. Residents from ACGME accredited Diagnostic Radiology and Family Medicine residency programs at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center served as participants in a posttest only control group experiment. Participants were randomly assigned to a control (e.g. traditional lecture) and experimental group (e.g. traditional lecture and a case-based, online discussion forum). After the lecture, the experimental group participated in a four-week case-based, online discussion forum. Weekly discussions were centered around case-based scenarios that highlight unprofessional behavior and encourage reflective discourse amongst the participants. Afterwards, professionalism skills were assessed via the P-MEX and knowledge base was assessed via a posttest. Results of the two ANOVAs showed no statistically significant differences between groups professionalism knowledge and skill levels.