Novel Emergency Medicine Curriculum Utilizing Self-Directed Learning and the Flipped Classroom Method: Endocrine and Metabolic Emergencies Small Group Module
This curriculum created and implemented at The Ohio State University emergency medicine residency program was designed to educate our emergency medicine (EM) residents, PGY-1 to PGY-3, as well as medical students and attending physicians.
Endocrine and metabolic complaints are commonly seen in the emergency department (ED). In 2014, endocrine and metabolic complaints represented about 2 million ED visits in the United States, representing about 1.5% of all ED visits.1 The high prevalence of endocrine disease in the US means that endocrine conditions are likely to complicate other ED visits in which endocrine disease was not the primary discharge diagnosis. For example, diabetes was documented as a chronic factor in a further 13.9 million visits. As such, emergency medicine (EM) residents must be proficient in the differential diagnosis and management of the wide variety of endocrine emergencies.
The flipped classroom curricular model emphasizes self-directed learning activities completed by learners, followed by small group discussions pertaining to the topic reviewed. The active learning fostered by this curriculum increases faculty and learner engagement and interaction time typically absent in traditional lecture-based formats.2-4 Studies have revealed that the application of knowledge through case studies, personal interaction with content experts, and integrated questions are effective learning strategies for emergency medicine residents.4-6 The Ohio State University EM Residency didactic curriculum recently transitioned to a “flipped classroom” approach.7-10 We created this innovative curriculum aimed to improve our residency education program and to share educational resources with other EM residency programs. Our curriculum utilizes an 18-month curricular cycle to cover the defined emergency medicine content. The flipped classroom curriculum maximizes didactic time and resident engagement, fosters intellectual curiosity and active learning, and meets the needs of today’s learners.4,7
We aim to teach the presentation and management of endocrine emergencies through the creation of a flipped classroom design. This unique, innovative curriculum utilizes resources chosen by education faculty and resident learners, study questions, real-life experiences, and small group discussions in place of traditional lectures. In doing so, a goal of the curriculum is to encourage self-directed learning, improve understanding and knowledge retention, and improve the educational experience of our residents.
The educational strategies used in this curriculum include: small group modules authored by education faculty and content experts based on the core emergency medicine content. This program also includes resident-submitted questions that were developed during review of the content. The question and answer format of the Socratic Method (with a focus on fostering an open learning environment, not negative “pimping”-type questioning) was used during small group sessions to encourage active participation and discussion. Small groups also focus on the synthesis and application of knowledge through the discussion of real-life experiences. The use of free open access medical education (FOAM) resources for pre-learning allows learners to work at their own pace and maximize autonomy.
Emergency medicine, flipped classroom, medical education, endocrine and metabolic emergencies, pedagogy, teaching.