BACKGROUND: The acquisition of new knowledge is a primary goal of residency training. Retrieving and retaining influential primary and secondary medical literature can be challenging for house officers. We set out to investigate the effect of a Universal Serial Bus (USB) drive loaded with landmark scientific articles on housestaff education in a pilot study. METHODS: We created a USB syllabus that contains 187 primary scientific research articles. The electronic syllabus had links to the full-text articles and was organized using an html webpage with a table of contents according to medical subspecialties. We performed a prospective cohort study of 53 house officers in the internal medicine residency program who received the USB syllabus. We evaluated the impact of the USB syllabus on resident education with surveys at the beginning and conclusion of the nine-month study period. RESULTS: All 50 respondents (100%) reported to have used the USB syllabus. The self-reported number of original articles read each month was higher at the end of the nine-month study period compared to baseline. Housestaff rated original articles as being a more valuable educational resource after the intervention. CONCLUSIONS: An electronic syllabus with landmark scientific articles placed on a USB drive was widely utilized by housestaff, increased the self-reported reading of original scientific articles and seemed to have positively influenced residents' attitude toward original medical literature.
ASJC Scopus subject areas