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Am J Cardiol. 2007 May 1;99(9):1234-5. Epub 2007 Mar 13.

Physician knowledge of national cholesterol guidelines before and after an interactive curriculum.

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Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


An interactive curriculum on National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) III guidelines was developed and distributed online to 877 physicians at 37 internal medicine residency training programs. Baseline knowledge of NCEP guidelines was tested before the curriculum. A test after the curriculum was compared with baseline performance to determine the impact of the curriculum. Performance was compared based on year of training or attending status. Scores for baseline knowledge of NCEP III concepts were 21.8% for residents and 23.2% for attending physicians, a difference that was not statistically significant. Postgraduate-year (PGY)-3 residents performed better than PGY-1 residents (26.5% vs 17.8%, p <0.05). Scores for specific concepts were 29.2% for pharmacology, 14.2% for major cardiovascular risk factors, 32.9% for coronary heart disease risk-equivalent conditions, 15.2% for diagnosis of metabolic syndrome, and 17.3% for treatment of patients with metabolic syndrome. For hypothetical clinical cases, attending physicians performed better than residents (63.2% vs 42.5%, p <0.05) and PGY-3 residents performed better than PGY-1 residents (47.7% vs 36.5%, p <0.05). After the curriculum, knowledge increased for all concepts (22.5% before vs 61.3% after the test, p <0.05). In conclusion, resident and attending physician knowledge of NCEP III guidelines is poor and can be improved by an interactive curriculum delivered online.

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