Context: Evidence-based medicine (EBM) is the application of scientific evidence while treating a patient. To date, however, there is very little evidence describing how residents in emergency medicine understand and incorporate EBM into practice.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine EBM theoretical and quantitative knowledge in emergency medicine residents in community hospital-based training programs.
Methods: A sample of emergency medicine residents from nine hospitals was enrolled to complete a cross-sectional assessment of EBM skills from April 2021 through June 2021. Performance on the Fresno Test of Evidence-Based Medicine (FTEBM) was assessed utilizing descriptive statistics, t tests, and one-way analysis of variance.
Results: A total of 50.8% (124/244) of current emergency medicine residents completed the FTEBM during the study period. No significant difference on FTEBM scores was noted between the different types of medical degrees (DO vs. MD) (p=0.511), holding an advanced research degree (p=0.117), or between each postgraduate year of training (p=0.356). The mean score of those residents who rated their knowledge of EBM as average or higher was 36.0% (32.8–39.1%). The mean score of those residents who rated their programs as having an “average” or higher institutional focus on EBM was 34.9% (32.2–37.6%).
Conclusions: Participating emergency medicine residents show an incomplete understanding of EBM both in theory and applied computations despite rating themselves as having an average understanding. Emergency medicine residencies would be well suited to implement a standardized EBM curriculum that focuses on longitudinal reinforcement of key concepts needed for the practicing physician.