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J Educ Perioper Med. 2019 Oct 1;21(4):E632. eCollection 2019 Oct-Dec.

Teaching Anesthesiology Residents How to Obtain Informed Consent.



Although obtaining medical consent is an important skill, many residents may have knowledge gaps in understanding key concepts of informed consent or may lack awareness of serious procedural risks. The objective of this study was to see if formal education makes a difference in anesthesiology residents' ability to obtain an informed consent.


Thirty-four first-year anesthesiology residents (CA1s) were randomized into either a control group or study group. The control group learned how to obtain consent for general anesthesia the current way, which is by observing senior residents or faculty. The study group received additional formal education, which included a video, a narrated lecture, and a quiz. Afterwards, both groups were observed obtaining informed consent on patients receiving general anesthesia. The investigators used a checklist consisting of 10 important items that the resident had to fulfill for a proper informed consent. To minimize bias, neither the control group nor the study group was shown the checklist.


Overall, the study group did significantly better than the control group in fulfilling the 10 items on the checklist (median 0.90 vs 0.70; P < .001). There were statistical differences on 4 key components: identifying all persons on the anesthesia team (76.5% vs 5.9%, P < .0001), explaining why general anesthesia is necessary (82.4% vs 35.3%, P < .0134), explaining the risks and benefits of general anesthesia (94.1% vs 47.1%, P < .0066), and discussing the risks and benefits of blood transfusion (70.59% vs 29.4%, P < .0381).


This study shows that formal instruction on informed consent enhances residents' ability to obtain an informed consent.


Informed consent; anesthesiology residents; medical education; teaching anesthesiology residents; teaching informed consent


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