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The Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS) selection process has come under scrutiny due to the increasing number of unmatched medical graduates. In response, we outline our residency program's selection process including how we have incorporated best practices and novel techniques.
We selected file reviewers and interviewers to mitigate gender bias and increase diversity. Four residents and two attending physicians rated each file using a standardized, cloud-based file review template to allow simultaneous rating. We interviewed applicants using four standardized stations with two or three interviewers per station. We used heat maps to review rating discrepancies and eliminated rating variance using Z-scores. The number of person-hours that we required to conduct our selection process was quantified and the process outcomes were described statistically and graphically.
We received between 75 and 90 CaRMS applications during each application cycle between 2017 and 2019. Our overall process required 320 person-hours annually, excluding attendance at the social events and administrative assistant duties. Our preliminary interview and rank lists were developed using weighted Z-scores and modified through an organized discussion informed by heat mapped data. The difference between the Z-scores of applicants surrounding the interview invitation threshold was 0.18-0.3 standard deviations. Interview performance significantly impacted the final rank list.
We describe a rigorous resident selection process for our emergency medicine training program which incorporated simultaneous cloud-based rating, Z-scores, and heat maps. This standardized approach could inform other programs looking to adopt a rigorous selection process while providing applicants guidance and reassurance of a fair assessment.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of a novel injury prevention intervention designed to prompt patients to initiate an injury prevention discussion with the ED physician, thus enabling injury prevention counselling and increasing bicycle helmet use among patients.
A repeated measures 2 x 3 randomized controlled trial design was used. Fourteen emergency physicians were observed for two shifts each between June and August 2013. Each pair of shifts was randomized to either an injury prevention shift, during which the emergency physician would wear a customized scrub top, or a control shift. The outcomes of interest were physician time spent discussing injury prevention, current helmet use, and self-reported change in helmet use rates at one year. Logistic regression analyses were used to examine the impact of the intervention.
The average time spent on injury prevention for all patients was 3.3 seconds. For those patients who actually received counselling, the average time spent was 17.0 seconds. The scrub top intervention did not significantly change helmet use rates at one year. The intervention also had no significant impact on patient decisions to change or reinforcement of helmet use.
Our study showed that the intervention did not increase physician injury prevention counselling or self-reported bicycle helmet use rates among patients. Given the study limitations, replication and extension of the intervention is warranted.
International studies have shown that patients want their spiritual needs attended to at the end of life. The present authors developed a project to investigate people's understanding of spirituality and spiritual care practices in New Zealand (NZ) hospices.
A mixed-methods approach included 52 semistructured interviews and a survey of 642 patients, family members, and staff from 25 (78%) of NZ's hospices. We employed a generic qualitative design and analysis to capture the experiences and understandings of participants' spirituality and spiritual care, while a cross-sectional survey yielded population level information.
Our findings suggest that spirituality is broadly understood and considered important for all three of the populations studied. The patient and family populations had high spiritual needs that included a search for (1) meaning, (2) peace of mind, and (3) a degree of certainty in an uncertain world. The healthcare professionals in the hospices surveyed seldom explicitly met the needs of patients and families. Staff had spiritual needs, but organizational support was sometimes lacking in attending to these needs.
Significance of results:
As a result of our study, which was the first nationwide study in NZ to examine spirituality in hospice care, Hospice New Zealand has developed a spirituality professional development program. Given that spirituality was found to be important to the majority of our participants, it is hoped that the adoption of such an approach will impact on spiritual care for patients and families in NZ hospices.