Trainee Headache and Education Management (THEME) Study

Candice M. Todd-Aziz, MD

AHSAM 2020 - Oral session
Published on October 2, 2020 | NEW

3 minute

Key messages

  • Despite physicians frequently encountering headache, many remain uncomfortable diagnosing, investigating and treating headaches.
  • Canadian residency programs are shifting to competency by design: focusing on what abilities physicians need at each stage in their career.
  • Interest in headache medicine increased with exposure.
  • Headache rotations should become mandatory in all neurology programs.

Key messages

  • Despite physicians frequently encountering headache, many remain uncomfortable diagnosing, investigating and treating headaches.
  • Canadian residency programs are shifting to competency by design: focusing on what abilities physicians need at each stage in their career.
  • Interest in headache medicine increased with exposure.
  • Headache rotations should become mandatory in all neurology programs.

Background

What do we already know about this topic?

  • Previous studies on residency exposure to headache found neurologists felt unprepared to comfortably treat the headache population.
  • The University of Toronto’s adult neurology 5-year residency program includes clinic rotations, one of which is at The Centre for Headache at Women’s College Hospital. 
  • The Centre for Headache at Women’s College Hospital provides a unique opportunity for medical residents to gain exposure and greater understanding of headache.

How was this study conducted?

  • A quality improvement, single clinic study on residents of any specialty, rotating through The Centre of Headache at Women’s College Hospital recruited from late 2018–March 2020 (N=59).
  • Residents completed pre- and post-rotation self-evaluation questionnaires.
  • Neurology residents completed an additional pre- and post-rotation quiz based upon core competencies proposed by the headache elective.

Findings

What does this study add?

  • 100% of residents believed they improved their clinical approach to headache patients post-rotation.
  • 73.9% of residents’ interest in headache medicine changed following rotation.
  • Compared to the pre-rotation quiz, there was a statistically significant improvement in the post-rotation quiz mean score.
  • All residents recommended the rotation and many considered a fellowship in headache medicine.

Perspectives

How does this study impact clinical practice?

  • Further studies are required across different clinics to increase sample size, increase the number of questions to fully test a resident’s knowledge, and to correlate self-evaluation data with actual clinical capabilities. 1

This is a highlights summary of an oral session given at the AHSAM 2020 Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting and presented by:

Candice M. Todd-Aziz, MD
Adult Neurology Resident
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The content is produced by Infomedica, the official reporting partner of ASHAM 2020 Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting. The summary text was drafted by Goldcrest Medical Writing, reviewed by Marco Vercellino, MD, an independent external expert, and approved by Jessica Ailani, MD, FAHS and Mark J. Burish, MD, PhD, the scientific editors of the program.

The presenting authors of the original session had no part in the creation of this conference highlights summary.

In addition, an expert commentary on the topic has been provided by:

 

1. Lai NM, Teng CL. Self-perceived competence correlates poorly with objectively measured competence in evidence based medicine among medical students. BMC Medical Education 2011;11:25.

Headache
Clinical Studies

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