A Creative Approach to COVID-Era Journal Clubs

All recipients of the JBJS Robert Bucholz Journal Club Grant are asked to complete an end-of-year survey that includes a question about how they used the grant money. This interesting reply comes from Kyle Morgenstern, MD, an orthopaedic resident at the University of Minnesota.

Resident engagement in journal clubs has been a challenge over the last couple of years. In our hard-working residency it is tough for residents to take time out of their evening every month for journal club. Formerly, we used the JBJS grant funds to purchase food and drinks for attendees. But with the virtual nature of journal club this past year, we saw our attendance start to slide and had to find other ways to recruit residents and boost morale.

So at the beginning of the COVID era, we utilized the grant money to purchase items awarded to attendees for their participation. I figured that if we couldn’t offer food and drink in person, we could at least do it virtually, and we awarded DoorDash gift cards.

Later, we transitioned to awarding a textbook to one presenter at each Journal Club. The winner of the textbook for best presentation was selected via an anonymous Zoom-poll vote of the faculty in attendance. We do Journal Club “Specialty Nights,” so, for example, we awarded Operative Techniques in Shoulder and Elbow Surgery during our shoulder-and-elbow night.

Those who received a textbook were quite thankful, especially those entering their trauma rotations or going into a particular subspecialty. I think this is something we will continue to budget for in the future, as we return to in-person meetings coming out of the pandemic.”

Applications for the 2021-2022 Robert Bucholz Journal Club grant will be available soon. Please stay tuned!

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