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July 10, 1995

Morning Report: A Survey of Resident Attitudes

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle (Drs Ways and Buchwald, and Ms Umali), and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md, and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC (Dr Kroenke).

Arch Intern Med. 1995;155(13):1433-1437. doi:10.1001/archinte.1995.00430130127013

Background:  Morning report is a time-honored tradition of most internal medicine residency programs. Despite its ubiquity, residents' attitudes regarding morning report have not been investigated.

Methods:  Using a 44-item questionnaire, we surveyed residents in an academic internal medicine training program working in five teaching hospitals on the processes of teaching and learning during morning report.

Results:  Among 74 residents completing the survey (100%), morning report was ranked as the most valuable of six educational activities. Residents preferred discussing new cases, with time equally divided between "great" cases and common problems, an interactive discussion with open-ended questions, and a Socratic teaching style. Seventy-two percent stated that attending physicians should be chosen from among the best teachers. General medical knowledge (90%), an ability to ask effective questions (86%), and good interpersonal skills (84%) were identified as the most important attending physicians' attributes. Discussions of basic science, use of anecdotes, and subspecialty knowledge were not considered highly desirable characteristics. Attending physicians with limited knowledge (41%) were viewed as the major obstacle to effective teaching while provocative attending physicians (52%) were considered as being most valuable to the learning experience.

Conclusions:  Residents believed that the morning report was a valuable educational experience. They preferred clinically based, open-ended interactive discussions led by attending physicians with a broad knowledge base. These findings underscore the importance of morning report in general, and the role of attending physicians in particular, in medical education.(Arch Intern Med. 1995;155:1433-1437)