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J Foot Ankle Surg. 2017 Sep - Oct;56(5):1009-1018. doi: 10.1053/j.jfas.2017.04.028.

What Is the Current Role and Factors for Success of the Journal Club in Podiatric Foot and Ankle Surgery Residency Training Programs?

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Resident Physician, Grant Medical Center, Columbus, OH. Electronic address:
Program Director, Grant Medical Center, Columbus, OH.
Resident Physician, Grant Medical Center, Columbus, OH.
Assistant Associate Director, Grant Medical Center, Columbus, OH.


The journal club (JC) is a traditional part of postgraduate medical education, although little has been written on its current role in podiatric surgical training programs. The goal of the present study was to determine how JCs are conducted and the factors associated with their success. Anonymous electronic surveys were distributed to all podiatric foot and ankle surgical training program directors in the United States with a valid e-mail address. A total of 202 surveys were initially e-mailed to training program directors, with a second and third round sent to those who did not respond. The eventual response rate was 47.5%. The variables associated with success included high faculty attendance, dissemination of articles in advance, and regularly scheduled meetings. Of the residency programs that responded, 39.0% provided some type of handout or supplemental session and 39.8% provided supplemental session or handouts regarding the process of critical review, epidemiology, or biostatistics. A structured review instrument or checklist was used to guide critical appraisal in 21.5% of the JCs, and 11.8% of the programs provided feedback to residents. The JC was perceived by residency directors to be valuable and worthy of maintaining. Residency directors perceived the following factors to be associated with a successful JC: faculty participation, a designated leader, mandatory attendance, dissemination of materials in advance, and regularly scheduled meetings. Areas cited for improvement included implementation of a structured review instrument, delineation of clear goals, and periodic evaluation. We believe these findings could aid residency directors interested in maximizing the educational benefits of their JC.


critical appraisal; graduate medical education; medical literature; podiatry; structured review instrument; surgical training; survey


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