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A Novel Approach to Teaching Residents Comprehensive Risk Reduction and Management Strategies

Background: Awareness about genetic predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer has increased dramatically over the last decade, yet working knowledge of how to identify and manage high risk patients is lacking among many physicians. The study goal  was to assess knowledge deficits among residents and determine whether a novel approach will help bridge the perceived knowledge gap.


Methods: A novel learning module was developed to assess risk level and apply standard recommendations for screening and risk reduction. This approach is unique, as most academic lectures focus on management of high risk patients, but not on risk stratification and risk reduction in all comers. Surveys were completed by residents assessing perceived knowledge before and after the presentation.


Results: 833 primary care residents were surveyed after participating in the lecture and case based learning module. 670 (86.5%) stated the information presented was new to them. 768 (94.6%) stated the training increased their knowledge regarding options for risk reduction and early detection. 802 (97.4%) stated after attending training, they understood how to identify patients at increased risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer to refer for genetic counseling and testing. 764 (96.1%) indicated they would incorporate material in the training into their everyday practice.


Discussions: Surveys confirmed a knowledge gap in breast and ovarian cancer risk assessment and management. While professional organizations have created guidelines for patient management, most trainees are either unaware of recommendations, or feel information is not presented in a way allowing them to use it practically in patient management. The workshop increased perceived knowledge among residents, allowed them to correctly identify high risk patients, and increased knowledge of risk reduction strategies among all patients. Recent studies have demonstrated poor coordination of care for the majority of high risk patients not opting for risk reducing surgery within the first few months after diagnosis of a gene mutation. Need for comprehensive education among residents in this area is clear. A practical risk stratification approach to identify and manage high risk patients is successful in bridging the knowledge gap among residents in primary care specialties.


Keywords: resident education multidisciplinary

Topics: CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2016, Resident, Faculty, Residency Director, Patient Care, Medical Knowledge, Practice-Based Learning & Improvement, GME, Lecture, Problem-Based Learning, Public Health, Gynecologic Oncology, Genetics,

General Information

Poster 2016 C & A Annual
Resident,Faculty,Residency Director,
Patient Care,Medical Knowledge,Practice-Based Learning & Improvement,
Lecture,Problem-Based Learning,Public Health,
Clinical Focus
Gynecologic Oncology,Genetics,

Author Information

Deborah Lindner, MD, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; Jelena Vasic, MS

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