Residency

Increase the time residents spend studying

Residency Program Insider, August 25, 2017

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To determine how well residents follow through on their goals to study, researchers examined strategies to increase residents’ self-regulated learning. Their study, which was recently published in the Journal of Graduate Medical Education, introduced the Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan (WOOP) goal-setting strategy to a group of residents. With WOOP, individuals identify a meaningful goal, identify and imagine the best outcome of accomplishing it, identify and imagine the critical inner obstacles to achieving the goal, and form a plan to overcome those obstacles.

Researchers took a group of 34 anesthesiology residents and randomly split them into two groups during a one-month intensive care unit rotation. One group received organized study materials based on goal setting and the other group performed WOOP. Both groups of residents tracked their studying in diaries.

The researchers compared both groups’ studying habits and found that the WOOP group spent considerably more time studying toward their goals than the goal-setting group, 4.5 hours versus 1.5 hours. They suggest that WOOP may be a useful strategy to increase residents’ self-regulated learning. 

Source: Journal of Graduate Medical Education



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