Multiinstitutional Evaluation of a Debate-Style Journal Club for Cardiothoracic Surgery Trainees

Thoracic Education Cooperative Group (TECoG)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Traditional journal clubs address individual articles and are limited in terms of breadth and depth of content covered. The present study describes the outcomes of a novel debate-style journal club in a multiinstitutional setting. Methods: Participating institutions were recruited through the Thoracic Education Cooperative Group. The distributed curriculum included instructions, debate scenarios, suggested article lists, moderator slides, debate scoresheets, exams, and feedback surveys. Results: Six institutions participated in the study (2015-2019), consisting of a total of 10 years’ worth of cumulative debates. Cardiothoracic surgery trainees participated in 10 monthly debates over each academic year. Trainee performance on the written examination in the realm of evidence-based medicine and critical appraisal improved over the course of the academic year (beginning 55.2% vs end 76.3%; P =.040). Importantly, written examination after debates revealed a significant improvement in scores on questions relating to topics that were debated as compared with those that were not (+27.1% vs +2.5%; P =.006), emphasizing the importance of the debates as compared with other sources of knowledge gain. Surveys completed by trainees and faculty overall favored the debate-style journal club as compared with the traditional journal club in gaining familiarity with seminal literature in the field, improving on oral presentation skills, and applying published literature to questions encountered clinically. Conclusions: In this multiinstitutional prospective study, we demonstrate that the novel debate-style cardiothoracic surgery journal club is an effective educational intervention for cardiothoracic surgical trainees to acquire, retain, and gain practice in applying literature-based evidence to case-based scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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