Family medicine didactics revisited

Dennis J. Butler, Joseph Brocato, Mark W Yeazel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: All family medicine programs are required to provide specialty-specific didactic conferences for residents. Since a baseline study of family medicine didactic formats was published in 2000, training requirements have changed, core content has evolved, and new teaching strategies have been recommended. The present study examines the characteristics of current family medicine didactics, compares current and past conference format data, and identifies factors affecting content selection. METHODS: The survey used in the prior conference formats study was distributed to all US family medicine programs. All questions from the original survey were repeated, and items regarding factors affecting conference content and threats to conferences were added. RESULTS: The survey response rate was 66%. The majority of family medicine programs endorse block formats for structuring conferences. Compared to the original study, programs are devoting significantly more hours to didactics on fewer days. Family medicine faculty and residents are responsible for 70% of didactic offerings (also a significant shift), and 87% of programs use a core curriculum. In over 70% of programs, some residents are unavailable for conferences due to work restrictions or service demands. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education subcompetencies and Milestones have only a moderate impact on topic selection. CONCLUSIONS: Family medicine didactics have evolved in the past 15 years with a notable increase in reliance upon core faculty and residents to lead conferences. Reduced availability of residents prevents all residents from having full exposure to the didactic curriculum. Family medicine faculty who are taking greater responsibility for didactics are also faced with increased clinical and administrative duties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)778-784
Number of pages7
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

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© 2017, Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. All rights reserved.


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